Pinterest Inspired DIY Artwork for Home & Office

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DIY Crayon Canvas ArtworkMy co-worker Erica, who made me a set of lovely coasters last Christmas, has been getting her craft on recently to bring some new life to her office here at work. Inspired by projects she discovered on Pinterest, she created a lovely collection of new “attire” for her blank walls. (Please excuse the quality of these pics. I photographed them with my cell phone.)

Crayon Canvas Paintings - DIY Art Project for your walls that's both inexpensive and easyErica made these crayon “paintings” from a box of crayons – with back to school right around the corner you can pick these up for super cheap! – artist canvas, a hot glue gun and a hair dryer. Simply use a hot glue gun to glue crayons along the top of a blank canvas, then use a hair dryer to melt the crayons so the colors run down the canvas creating a one of kind work of art.

Mod Podge Scrapbook Paper Wall Covering Art DIYThese works of art were created using square canvases, scrapbook papers, mod podge and paint. Simply cut scrapbook papers to fit the canvas size and use mod podge to adhere the decorative papers to the front of the canvas. Once dry, paint around the sides of the canvas – based on Erica’s paper choices she used brown paint – and lightly brush paint around the edges of the papers on the front. Let dry and hang!

DIY Ruler Clip Board OrganizerErica also made a place to hold and organize her important notes and phone lists she uses on a daily basis. She purchased jumbo clothespins, painted them black then glued them to a yard stick. She initially tried to hot glue the clothespins but found that they didn’t hold with hot glue. I recommended E-6000 glue (craft adhesive) since it holds just about everything and it worked like a charm.

For more ideas for art projects, be sure to visit and follow my Art Class Board on Pinterest. For diy decorating ideas and inspiration, follow my For the Home Board on Pinterest. And finally, for home and office organizing tips and diy’s be sure to follow my Home & Office Organization Board on Pinterest.

Natural Laundry and Stain Remover Soap Bar Recipe

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DIY Handmade Home - Natural Wash and Stain Soap Recipe

Learn how to make your own laundry and stain remover soap bar recipe!

Since I’ve been a member of Birchbox I’ve had the opportunity to try – as well as discover – a lot of new bath, body and beauty products I’d never even heard of before. One such product I recently found was The Laundress® Wash and Stain Bar. This soap bar is made from a combination of vegetable soap, borax and essential oils and touts that it is not only able to eliminate pesky stains in hard-to-reach places but is also perfect for hand washing or laundering on the go. Six bucks gets a small 2 oz. bar of this soap in most stores, however, if you’re practical and crafty you can make your own wash and stain soap bar for a lot less and customize the fragrance to suit your own needs.

You can make this homemade laundry soap and stain remover soap bar recipe in one of two ways – via a cold process soap recipe or by the handmilling (also known as rebatching) soapmaking method. I lightly scented mine with lime peel essential oil which is known to help cut grease, however, scenting options are endless. Here’s how to make your own:

DIY Natural Wash & Stain Remover Soap Bar Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

10.8 oz. refined (76° melt point) coconut oil
18 oz. palm oil
7.2 oz. soybean oil

5.2 oz. lye (sodium hydroxide)
11 fluid oz. distilled water

At trace:

.75 oz. borax (sodium borate) – This is NOT the same as boric acid!
.4 oz. lime peel essential oil (or try lemon or orange peel essentials oils which help cut grease!)

Instructions:

This laundry and stain remover soap bar recipe will yield approximately ten 4.5 oz. soap bars (or 12 4 oz. bars) and uses one of my wooden soapmaking molds. You can find 20 Mule Team Borax in most grocery and super stores in the laundry aisle.

To craft this natural stain remove soap bar recipe you will need to follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions using a digital kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients and mixing with a stick (immersion) blender once you combine the cooled lye-water and oils. When your soap reaches a light trace stir in the .75 oz. (by weight) of borax and .4 oz. of lime essential oil. Mix thoroughly then pour into your lined soap mold, cover and insulate for 24 hours. Finally, unmold your soap loaf and cut into bars and allow to cure for a minimum of three weeks. This recipe makes a super hard bars of homemade of laundry and stain soap so they should last you a long time.

If you prefer to leave your bar unscented, then skip the essential oils. Or add your own favorite essential oil blend or skin safe fragrance oil to the recipe. This recipe makes a light lime scented soap. For more fragrance you can use up to 1 oz. of essential oils in this batch or up to 2 oz. of your favorite fragrance oil.

To craft a handmilled version of this natural laundry and stain remove soap bar recipe:

Finely grate 12 4 oz. (by weight) bars of natural cold process vegetable soap and place into a sauce pan on the stove. Weigh out .75 oz. of borax and dissolve in 18 fluid of distilled water. Then add this water to the soap and heat on medium-low until soap melts. (Photos of the process.) Now weigh out and stir in .2 oz. of your essential oil of choice, stirring to thoroughly combine. Finally, pour into a loaf soap mold and set aside. Once the soap has hardened you can remove the loaf of soap from the mold and slice into bars. Allow excess water to evaporate before using.

To use simply dampen the bar of soap and/or fabric and rub onto soiled or stained spot before washing. For deep set in stains allow to set several hours to overnight.

For more homemade soap recipes and other helpful DIY projects like this one be sure to follow my Pinterest boards. You can also find a collection of all of my homemade soap recipes and bath and beauty DIY’s at Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen.

To keep track of all my new homemade soap recipes and other DIY creations by following Soap Deli News blog via Blog Lovin’ and Tumblr. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.

DIY Soap Cutter – A Simple Guide for Cutting Your Soap into Bars

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How to Make a Soap Cutter - DIY Soap Cutting Guide for Homemade Soap

If you’re looking for a way to consistently cut your homemade soap loaves into bars so that they the same size every time, then you need a soap cutter! There’s no need to purchase expensive equipment to do this, especially if you’re just starting out. Instead, craft your own handmade diy soap cutter.

How to Make a Soap Cutter - DIY Soap Cutting Guide for Homemade Soap

The measurements for this soap cutter are made to pair up with my tutorial on how to make wooden loaf soap molds. It can be used for both melt and pour glycerin soap and homemade cold process soaps. To get started you’ll need either craft wood or plywood that is 3/4″ thick, some screws, wood glue, an electric screwdriver and a saw in order to make your cuts. If you aren’t able to cut your own wood, you may be able to find a friend, neighbor or parent to give you a hand. (My dad made mine for me.) I have also heard that if you purchase wood from Lowe’s that they will cut to your specifications.

How to Make a Handmade Soap Cutter DIY

The two sides of your soap cutter should be cut to measure 6 1/2″ long by 5″ high. The bottom piece to your soap cutter will need to measure 6 3/4″ long by 3 1/2″ wide. The front stop – which keeps your soap from sliding out to ensure bars are all cut the same size – should measure 5″ long by 2″ high.

Assemble your soap cutter so that the bottom fits in between the two sides. The sides should rest flat on the surface with the bottom in between. Apply wood glue to hold the sides together and clamp until dry. Then put several screw into the side for extra hold. Now glue the front stop to the front of the soap cutter and screw in. Finally, use a saw to cut guides down the two sides and slightly into the bottom piece of wood. These cuts determine the size of your bars. About 3/4″ in make standard size bars in width. Make the cuts further out – 1″ or more – for thicker bars. Make sure the cuts are wide enough that the tool of your choice you’ll be using for cutting will fit into these slits. I use a Chef’s knife to cut my soaps with this soap cutting guide.

Making homemade cold process soap for the first time? Be sure to check out my DIY Soapmaking Tutorial as well as my Beginner Cold Process Soap Recipe.

How to Make A Wooden Cold Process Loaf Soap Mold

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How to Make a Wooden Loaf Soap Mold for Cold Process Soap Plus Where to Buy Lye

I’ve had some people ask me how to make a basic wooden loaf soap mold for cold process soap, so I thought I’d share a tutorial on how to make your own soap molds. This wooden cold process loaf soap mold is so easy to make and it will last forever. My dad is handy with wood and power tools so he made me a bunch of these, however, if you don’t own power tools, it’s possible to get the pieces for the molds cut at no charge.

DIY Wood Soap Mold for Cold Process Soap - How to Make Your Own Loaf Soap MoldsEach of these homemade cold process soap molds will hold approximately 2.75 lbs. of (cured) soap and will make approximately 10-12 4oz. bars depending on how large you cut them. If you’re having trouble figuring out how much your soap will weigh once cured, my average recipe for one of these molds uses 36oz.  in oils & butters (fats) prior to adding the lye/water, and fragrance.

How to Make a Wooden Soap Mold - Measurements and Instructions - Works for Cold Process and Melt & Pour Soap when Lined - Plus Where to Buy LyeTo create one mold you’ll need to use wood that is 1/2″ thick. I used craft wood from Lowe’s. I have been told that if you are buying wood that an associate at Lowe’s will cut it down into the dimensions you use if you ask. For the two long sides, you’ll need to cut two pieces of wood that measure 12″ x 4″. The two short sides should be cut to 3 1/2″ x 4″ and the bottom piece of the mold should be cut to 3 1/2″ x 11″. The final dimensions of the soap mold will measure (from the outside) 12″ Long x 4 1/2″ Wide x 4″ High.

You’ll need to use wood clamps and wood glue to assemble your mold as pictured above. The two short sides fit on the inside of the two longer sides to form a rectangle and the bottom piece of the mold fits on the inside bottom of the mold. Use glue and clamps to hold the pieces together until dry. If you don’t have clamps or want to add extra reinforcement, you can use a cordless screwdriver to place screws where the sides connect.

Making a lid for these is optional. Honestly I’ve never needed to use a fancy lid as cutting cardboard to fit on top of the molds works just fine during the curing process. I simply place cardboard on the top of the filled mold and then cover with towels to insulate during the 24 hour saponification period.

How to Line a Wooden Soap Mold for Cold Process SoapLining your soap molds before use is essential to being able to get your soap out of the mold. If you don’t line your mold, your soap will get stuck. I used to cut parchment paper to line my molds as demonstrated in this the same process that this tutorial by Inner Earth blog uses with contact paper. Basically you fold the paper in a way that is similar to wrapping a present but with an open top. However, parchment paper and contact paper can be expensive and the process for lining molds this way can be tedious and time consuming especially if you are making multiple or large batches at once. Because of this, and due to the stiffness and occasional pain in my hands from the fibro, I use trash bags to line my molds. If you’re practical and don’t mind a few minor creases on the sides and bottom of your soap, then this method may be the one for you.

I got this ideas from another local soapmaker who I used to sell alongside at our local Farmer’s Market. She used large 20 gallon kitchen trash bags to line her molds, then once she unmolded the soaps, she’d re-use the trash bags for actual trash. (Plus the soap gave them a nice, fresh scent.) What I use are thin, clear office trash bags. I bought a huge box of 1000 10 gallon light duty commercial trash bags to line my molds with as they a lot less expensive than parchment paper and can be used again for my office trash. (They are super cheap at Sam’s Club and office supply stores.) To line a mold I simply unfold the bag – but don’t open it – press it into the mold and then tape the outer edges where the bag folds over the outside of the mold to keep it in place. This method is gentle on hands and super quick. I can now line all nine of my molds in 5 minutes or less. Of course, how you choose to line your molds is personal preference. I recommend doing whatever works best for you.

Once your soap has set you simply lift the soap from the mold and peel off the liner, cut into bars and allow to cure a minimum of 3-4 weeks.

To use these molds for melt and pour glycerin soap, simply line with trash bags as indicated for cold process soap.

Looking for lye?

On a side note, I wanted to share with you where to buy sodium hydroxide (lye) for making your soap. You used to be able to buy Roebic brand lye from Lowe’s. 2lb. ran $8.99. Several months ago I noticed that their price for a 2lb. container of Roebic lye had gone up to $16. Recently, they stopped carrying it all together. I imagine this has something to do with the illegal meth labs that seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Therefore what I recommend is to look in your local yellow pages for a local chemical supply company. I am lucky enough to have one in my hometown called ChemSolv. ChemSolv sells 99% pure sodium hydroxide (which is suitable for soapmaking) in 55lb. bags. These bags with tax – in case you don’t have a resale license – runs $38 and change. They currently have locations in Roanoke, VA (my hometown), Colonial Heights, VA, Piney Flats, TN and Rock Hill, SC. I purchase what they call caustic soda beads.

If you don’t have a chemical supply store near you, you can buy 2lb. containers of Food Grade Sodium Hydroxide from Amazon. Even with shipping, these containers run cheaper than 2lb. containers of Roebic brand lye from Lowe’s – assuming your store still carries it. Plus, currently if buy 5 2lb. containers of lye, you receive $5 off your purchase. You can also find Potassium Hydroxide Flakes for liquid soapmaking available through the same company through Amazon with the same deal. Other brands of lye you can use include Red Hot Devil Lye Caustic Soda Beads and RED CROWN High Test Lye.

If you are just venturing into making homemade soap and want to learn how to make soap, be sure to visit my DIY Cold Process Soapmaking Tutorial. Or if you’re looking for skin conditioning bar of handmade soap, check out my Skin Loving Natural Cold Process Soap Recipe. (It will fit into one of the wooden soap molds described above but will make large square bars – about 5 1/2oz. – 6oz. each – rather than rectangular bars of soap.)

DIY Washi Tape Dispenser Craft Project

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DIY Washi Tape Dispenser Craft Project - Super Cute House Shaped Washi Tape Dispenser You Can Make By Upcycling Household Cardboard Products

If you’re a fan of washi tape like I am then you’re going to love this idea for making your own DIY Washi Tape Dispenser (above) I discovered at Craft & Creativity blog! Simply upcycle household cardboard products – fyi the cardboard tube inside the Target brand aluminum foil is perfect for this – by cutting and piecing together, then covering with washi tape. All that’s left is to add your favorite rolls of washi tape! Of course, if you’re a die hard washi tape addict, I imagine you may end up with an entire village!

For more DIY Washi Tapd Craft Project Ideas, be sure to check out my own Washi Tape Crafts on Soap Deli News Blog, visit The Washi Blog – a blog dedicated to DIY Washi Tape Projects, or follow me on Pinterest! (Psst. You can also follow me on Blog Lovin’!)