Succulent Love – Creative Ways to Not Have a Green Thumb

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I love succulents. They are the one plant I almost never kill. And when I say almost, I mean I have killed a succulent or two by over watering by thinking I needed to make up for forgetting to water for weeks and sometimes months. But now that I’ve learned that most succulents can take my forgetfulness, they are my favorite indoor plant. (Outdoors I grow herbs. They forgive my lack of maintenance too.) So in case you find you’re a little like me – slightly crafty but lacking a green thumb – here are a few ideas to bring the outdoors in as the weather begins its journey into cold and dreary.
DIY Succulent Terrarium from BirdHouse Blog
Simple yet stylish, this DIY Succulent Terrarium from BirdHouse Blog will fit perfectly in your windowsill or on a bookshelf. It’s small size makes it practical for any room or perfecting for gifting someone else you know and love who is also lacking the much sought after “green thumb.” Keep it manageable and in its pot by pruning leaves as it over seeks its bounds. Plucked leaves can be rooted right into new soil for baby terrariums in every room.
DIY Succulent Table from Far Out Flora
If you’re in love with a rustic look, consider a bold approach and craft a DIY Succulent Table as a living room coffee table or side table. The size and dimensions are entirely up to you. But regardless of how large or small you go, this is one table sure to make a statement you’ll never grow tired of.
How to Make Modern Cement Planters Using Packaging from Re-Nest
You can make these small, yet practical Succulent Cement Planters by using recycled food packaging as your molds. They’re easy to make in batches as favors for events and are perfect for using as bookends. Go extra creative and spray paint the planters with chalk board paint for even more fun and a planter that is always customizable.
DIY: Book Planter with Succulents from Green Wedding Shoes
Whether you’re creating a wedding centerpiece or just want something incredibly unique to decorate your own home, these DIY Succulent Book Planters take the cake! Fill in around the succulents with moss and fake flowers for extra pizazz or a touch of color that matches your room’s decor.
Make a Living Succulent Picture from Better Homes & Gardens
Don’t have the space for pots? Hang (or prop) your succulent garden on the wall with this DIY tutorial from Better Homes & Gardens for making a Living Succulent Picture. Just water your creation on a flat surface once a month and make sure it sees a little sun from a nearby window. It’s instant art without the anguish of finding something that fits that hard to fit room and also makes for a great conversation piece.
What’s your favorite way to display your indoor plants?

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?