DIY Eco-Friendly Soy Wax Candles – Great for Favors and Gifts

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Despite the fact that I make my own homemade soaps, I’ve always been a little intimidated about making candles. Not to mention with the increasing costs for raw materials for soapmaking ingredients and continuously rising shipping prices, I’ve been reluctant to invest in buying wax for DIY eco-friendly soy wax candles because of the high shipping costs due to the sheer weight of the product.

However, after discovering a little DIY for making handmade soy candles for less than a dollar each (not including the cost of the container) I think I may just give candle making a try.

DIY Eco-Friendly Soy Wax Candles for Your Home! These hand poured candles also make great for Wedding Favors and Homemade Gifts! Learn how to make your own easy DIY eco-friendly soy wax candles with this simple candlemaking craft project from Ruffled blog!

DIY Eco-Friendly Soy Wax Candles

Ruffled Blog has an excellent diy tutorial for making eco-friendly soy candles on the cheap. While they suggest giving these as wedding favors, you could also make these for your own home use or for gift giving over the holidays or for other special occasions like birthdays or Mother’s Day.

This candle making project calls for natural soy wax flakes, cotton wicks, a fragrance oil, and a recycled glass container of your choice. You can buy matching containers on the cheap at the dollar or second hand store if you prefer. But your container won’t cost a dime if you upcycle an existing container you already have such as a mason or jelly jar.

Creative Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas for Packaging Handmade Soaps and Other Bath and Body Products

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It’s never too soon to start thinking about Christmas and holiday events and parties. Sometimes these events require a gift with a special touch. For other get-togethers a collection of similar gifts will suffice – such as an office Christmas party. What makes the present truly special for the recipient though is receiving a package that’s wrapped in such a special way it makes them feel important for just receiving it even if the value of the actual gift is small. One of my favorite things to give is soap, of course, Since I make it, I always have surplus on hand for holiday parties. Plus, it’s something that can always be used. So here are a few packaging ideas I found for wrapping your own bath and body products and making them seem like the best thing under the tree!
Hand Printed Gift Wrap From Field Guide Design
Hand printed gift wrap can bring real presence to any item it covers. Unique designs and the care of a handmade paper encourage recipients to unwrap carefully and save the paper for a future project or wrapping their next gift. If you don’t have time to drag out the stamps and paint to make your own from butcher block paper, then consider supporting an independent artist who crafts her own. For example, I love the designs of the hand printed gift wrap available from Field Guide Design. It runs $10 for 2 303×30 sheets.
Paper Twine on a Vintage Spool from Olive Manna
If you’re looking to be a little more creative, consider stocking up on some “not your average” gift wrapping staples from Olive Manna. Her shop offers a wide assortment of textiles and paper goods including bags, boxes, and envelopes, clothespins, twine, ribbons, stickers, tags, and spools. Or simply forgo paper entirely and wrap in fabrics of all kinds with a little assistance from the DIY Cloth Wrap Tutorial found on Givers Log.
Trader Joe’s Paper Bag Gift Wrap from Happiness Is…
If you’re looking for some more specific ideas to use as a springing board, there here are some of my favorite gift wrap ideas I’ve discovered recently. I hope you’ll find them as inspirational as I do. Plus, they all work perfectly for wrapping handmade soaps!
It’s always great when you can recycle something that would otherwise get thrown away and turn it into something amazing. Here (pictured right) Shannon uses old holiday themed Trader Joe bags to wraps her gifts tying them off with some festive, red and white twine and labeling with tags. You could also get extra creative and scribble in some of your designs or even add a dash of color to the existing outlines.
Fabric Origami Box Tutorial from How About Orange
This next idea comes from How About Orange and uses a handmade, fabric origami box to create the perfect gift wrap complete with a lovely flower on top. I love this box for packaging square bars of handmade soap or a handful of handmade soap samples. It’d also be perfect for handmade lip balms or small vials of perfume! A little stiffened fabric, a few folds, and you’re on your way. Cut flowers from leftover fabric and secure them together on the top of your package with a button for the flower’s center! No bow necessary.
DIY Project from Style Me Pretty
Use silk flowers to decorate plain paper bags and have the perfect container for a girl’s spa package. You can find the diy tutorial for making these silk flowers at Style Me Pretty Blog. Once you’ve made the number you need, simply fill your paper or craft bags with spa essentials such as handmade soap, body butter, and bath salts, then seal. Complete the package with a silk flower you’ve made yourself. This is also a great idea for giving favors for weddings or bridal parties.
Mini Glassine Envelopes from Inspire Lovely

Glassine Envelopes are a unique approach to gift wrapping. These Mini Glassine Envelopes from Inspire Lovely offer a creative way to package handmade soaps, lips balms, salves, and even test tubes of bath salts. Simply use a paper doily to set the background for the look of your package, fill it with your desired contents for gift giving, and complete the look by wrapping the package with some colorful baker’s twine.

For someone you love, I suggest creating a heart stitched burlap bag with a drawstring to keep your gift cozy inside. Simply take a mini soap sized burlap bag like the ones found on Stampington & Company and decorate it with hearts you cut from wool and book text and a button. Then stitch everything together onto the sacks with embroidery floss. You can even customize the bag by embroidery the name of a loved on onto the bag or a special date if this is a wedding favor.

And finally, a few more packaging ideas for gifting your handmade soaps and other handmade body and skin care products:

Pretty Heart Soap from Cox & Cox
ETC Packaging from Hello Friend
DIY: Layered Borders with Masking Tape from Creature Comforts Blog

Also be sure to check out these other gift wrap ideas from Soap Deli News Blog:

1. Happy Birthday! Celebrate the person with a gift but celebrate the gift with pretty packaging!
2. Handmade Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas
3. Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas

What are your favorite ways to gift wrap a package for someone special?

Handmade Crochet Washcloth Tutorial for Everyday Use or Gift Giving

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Last month I blogged about the awesomeness of handmade crocheted washcloths for cleaning both yourself and your home. So this month I thought I’d share a diy project for making your own handmade crocheted washcloths.

Whether you choose to crochet washcloths for your facial cleansing routine, washing dishes, or getting that stubborn dirt out of your counter top grout, the tutorial for making handmade crocheted washcloths at Creative Jewish Mom will give you the knowledge you need for making your very first crocheted washcloth.
Once you’ve got the knack for making your own washcloths, you’re not going to want to stop. So once you’ve got a surplus, then it’s time to start gift giving!
Washcloth Packages
I really love the idea presented above for Washcloth Packages from knitgirl63. Simply tie your crocheted washcloth(s) to several bars of handmade soap with a ribbon and a simple faux flower. You can buy handmade soaps for this diy spa package or delve into making your own handmade soap. These make perfect gifts for the holidays, wedding favors for the bridesmaids and even housewarming gifts!
What’s your favorite use for crocheted washcloths?

It’s wedding season. Do you have your wedding favors ready yet?

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According the The Knot, the most popular months for weddings are June, August, September, and October, with December growing in demand because of the holidays. Getting married during less popular months could save you money on the reception site and other wedding services like catering, photography and floral arrangements.

But with a hot bed of wedding activity on its way this summer into fall, a lot of brides to be are in the planning stages now. Because of this I decided I’d post a few more handmade wedding favor ideas to add to yesterday’s inspirational post on making your own handmade soap wedding favors. Here are just a few of my favorites.

1.) Rosemary Sea Salt Favors. A functional wedding favor that guests can later use on potatoes and in other cooking recipes. The top of the container is decorate with a the couple’s monogram and the wedding date.

2.) DIY Succulent Favors. Succulents are by far one of the easier plants to grow, and they won’t die if you forget to water them for a while. So gifting them as a wedding favor is a good idea even for those guests who have a black thumb rather than a green one. Plus they’re easy to grow from cuttings allowing you to make multiple favors from just one plant.

3.) DIY Mexican Wedding Favors. Talk about fun in a bottle! Give the gift of either some virgin agave syrup or top shelf tequila in downsized bottles that you can then customize with editable, printable bottle labels. I’m sure these would be a blast in Christmas stockings come December as well!

4.) Spread the Love Label. Homemade jellies and jams are another one of those perfect wedding favors because they are consumable. Make and can your favorite jam recipe, then label with these completely customizable  Spread the Love wedding labels.

5.) DIY Wedding Favor Bags with a Twist. A simple and inexpensive, yet elegant way to create a wedding favor bag that you can then fill with the treats of your choice.
Other ideas I like are:
  • Filling test tubes with bath salts or a spice mix and sealing with a cork. Tie a ribbon around the top where the cork goes with a tag stating the ingredients. (Inspired by these Organic Thyme Lavender Bath Salts in Test Tubes.)
  • Making a cd of all the bride and groom’s wedding play list for all of the guests.
  • Crafting mini vertical wall garden magnetic terrariums that guests can keep on their fridge to remind them of your new union and keep papers in place.
  • Fill small tins with loose leaf tea and apply a custom label.
What are your ideas for wedding or party favors that you think are the bee’s knees?

Handmade Soap Wedding Favor Tutorial

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Wedding favors are a great way to thank guests and wedding party participants for both coming and helping you plan your special day. A popular wedding favor option is handmade soaps. Not only do they smell great, but it’s something your guest can use and is less likely to be tossed aside.
Because wedding favors can be costly, you can save money by creating your own. Following is a tutorial for making your own custom favors based on ones I created (above) using a few basic supplies you can readily find almost anywhere.
To get started you’ll need the following:
  • Scissors
  • Tape or Glue
  • Scrapbook papers in your wedding colors and matching stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Handmade soap
First, you’ll need to size down your soap bars. You can either make your soap or buy it. Keep in mind that if you are making your own soaps, you’ll need to allow at least three weeks for them to cure before use. You can, however, wrap and decorate them as soon as they are hard enough if you are discounting your water. I’m using 4 – 4.5oz bars in a beautiful, red currant scent for summer. Cutting your bars in half makes it more cost effective. However, you’re welcome to use full size bars if it’s within your budget. Halving a 4oz. bar of soap makes a perfect guest size bar, though, and is extra special if your guests are traveling and having to stay in a hotel.
Next, wrap your soaps in paper. This is just like wrapping a present! It’s not necessary to wrap your soap in plastic first if you are using cold process, handmade soaps as this allows the soap to breathe. However, you can wrap your soap in food service film first. Wal-mart’s generic brand of cling wrap is perfect for this if you don’t want to invest in a large roll of food service film as it sticks to itself and makes for a tightly wrapped soap.
Finish wrapping your soap and tape down the sides. The seams where the tape is can be covered length wise with ribbon if you don’t want it to be noticed.
Wrap ribbon around your soap and tape in place. Or for extra durability, use a dab of glue from a hot glue gun. This seam will be covered by your sticker. Don’t go overboard on purchasing ribbon. You can find nice ribbon on clearance anytime of the year. I bought this roll of white velvet ribbon on sale for a dollar.
Apply your sticker across the ribbon where you taped the seams together to the wrapped soap. I am using three dimensional stickers I received as part of a wedding scrapbook pack that was on clearance for $4. It contained an assortment of papers and different stickers and punch outs. Another idea for stickers is to use letter stickers as monograms for the soap packaging and use the letter of the couple’s last name or a combo of letters from each of their first names.
Mix up which way you use your ribbon and vary your stickers and paper for visual interest. They don’t all have to be exactly alike.
Alternately, you don’t have to wrap every soap in paper. You can wrap all, or just some, of your soaps in clear plastic wrap and use either ribbon or scrapbook papers cut into strips as your band around the soaps. Then top with a sticker.
And that’s it! Just make as many favors as you’ll need for the wedding party plus a few extras just in case. If you have extras left over after the party, tuck them in drawers to use as scented sachets until you get around to using them on your own. Or use them as stocking stuffers at Christmas, just swapping out the sticker if needed for something that could be used year round.