Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate! DIY Essential Oil Sugar Body Scrub!

For years I was completely embarrassed by my legs. It seemed I always had these little red dry skin bumps no matter what I did and shaving just made them a MILLION times worse. Summer time, going out to the beach or the boat was my personal idea of hell because all I wanted to do was cover up my legs.

Until one day I ran out of my regular shaving cream and I HAD to shave my legs. I had to wear a dress for a date night and there was no getting by without shaving. The only thing I had to shave with was some baby oil. O-M-G! I knew baby oil did amazing things for your skin, but my legs had never felt this amazing before. My normal red bumps after shaving were completely gone, my skin wasn’t dry and -I totally swear this is the truth- my legs remained smooth so much longer than with typical shaving cream. It was like the miracle oil.

Since then I have experimented to create my own DIY Essential oil Sugar Body Scrub that you can use everywhere to exfoliate your skin, and with just a quick rinse off of the sugar, you are ready to shave anywhere, including your bikini line!

Here’s what you’ll need!

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  1. Baby Oil- I get mine at Target, the Up&Up brand with aloe and vitamin e is like $2.50
  2. Granulated Sugar- I use regular old Domino Sugar I have in my kitchen, but feel free to use whatever you have!
  3. Essential Oils- I love the smell of Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Lavender, and as luck would have it, they do amazing things for your skin. But feel free to add whatever oils appeal to you the most. I got mine at Vitamin Shoppe for about $5-$8 each. (These are the same essential oils I used in my shower soothers too!)
  4. An Empty bottle to store your mixture, preferably one that is clear- I’m using an old astringent bottle. You’ll want something than can be capped and is easily controlled when you pour it.

IMAG0700First, eye ball about 1/3 of your empty bottle. Fill it with your sugar, trying not to get sugar everywhere in the process. I’d recommend doing this step over the sink so if it does spill over a little bit you can just wash away the extra sugar. It’s ok if the sugar sticks to the inside of the jar like mine did. It’ll all come together in the end.

IMAG0701Next fill the remaining 2/3 of the bottle with your baby oil. I leave a little bit of a gap at the top of my bottle to help in the mixing process a little later. Again I recommend doing this step over the sink so if you spill you don’t ruin any cloth or make another mess with the oil.

IMAG0703Next, add a few drops of each essential oil to your mixture. You’ll only need 2-3 drops of each oil depending on the size of your bottle. My bottle is about 8 fl oz.

Lastly, place your cap on tightly, making sure it is sealed closed. And now we SHAKE! Have some fun with it, do a little dance if you like! You want to shake this up until all the sugar has detached from the bottom of the bottle. Once you’ve finished shaking, you’ll once the sugar will once again settle down to the bottom, that’s fine. We just wanted to make sure IMAG0704that none of the sugar hardens before we get to use it. Each time you go to use this scrub, give it a shake or two, let the sugar redistribute throughout the bottle before you pour it out.

And then, scrub away! The sugar will help to exfoliate your skin and remove any dead skin cells that may gunk up your razor while shaving, preventing a closer shave. The sugar will dissolve in water of the shower, leaving behind those essential oils and the baby oil which are fantastic to shave with and won’t be washed away by the water. I do recommend that once you are done shaving that you use a body wash to rinse away any access oil that may lead to blocked pours.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them for me! Please take this tutorial and make it your own! And please share any tips or tricks that work for you!

Mandy @NiteDreamerDesigns

DIY Sudafed Shower Soothers

A few years ago I tried an amazing product by the makers of Sudafed called Shower Soothers. These awesome little disks got me through so many sinus infections! One little disk in my shower completely cleared my nose, let me breathe, and helped all the gunk drain from my sinuses. They worked better than any antibiotic or over the counter medicine ever did. And then one day suddenly they were gone from the shelves at every pharmacy! You can occasionally find them on amazon for nearly $50 for 3 disks! WHAT?!

 

I figured there had to be a way to make them myself, but I didn’t know how to go about it. Then I found this great little tutorial by Frugal by Choice and all hope returned and just in time! My boyfriend, Patrick, has been feeling slightly under the weather and we have a wedding party get away to attend this weekend in the Dells. So perfect time to try these babies out!

While Frugal by Choice’s tutorial is a good one, I did have to make some changes here and there to make these work for us, and I did make one mistake that I will definitely be changing in the future. But all in all I’m very happy with the results!

What you’ll need

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  • Baking Soda about 1 1/2 cups
  • Water about 2/3 cup
  • Essential Oils: Rosemary, Lavender and Eucalyptus, which I purchased at my local VitaminShoppe
  • A large mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • One table spoon for scooping
  • Muffin tray and liners

First, preheat your oven to 350F. By the time you’re done with the other steps, your oven will be good to go!

Then I added my Baking Soda to the mixing bowl and slowly added my water. The original tutorial called for 1 cup Baking Soda and 1/3 cup of water, but I found to fill the muffin tray completely I needed about 1 1/2 cups of soda and 2/3 cups of water. Add your water slowly. The consistency should be like pancake batter. Once you have a good mixture stop adding your water and stir to thicken up the mixture.

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Now, scoop your mixture into your muffin tin, using one table spoon scoops per disk. Make sure you are using liners around your disks, otherwise getting these babies out won’t be easy! Here’s where I would do things a little differently next time! I used paper liners, like the ones that decorate your cupcakes. I found that once these baked up and cooled, some of the paper stuck to the bottom of the disks. Not THAT big of deal, I will just have to make sure they don’t go down the drain once these have dissolved in the shower If you can find the thicker metallic ones that have the wax paper liners, I would recommend using those. But they may be a little more expensive.

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By this time the oven should be heated up and ready to go. Place your disks in the oven for 20 minutes.

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After your 20 minutes in the oven, remove the disks from the heat.

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Add a few drops of each oil rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender to each disk. If your disks are still piping hot from the oven you may notice some steam or “smoke” come off of each one when you add the oil. This is fine, it won’t affect the out come.

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Now, let your disks cool before removing them from the liners. I put mine in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until they were completely solid. Once they have cooled, pop them out and store in a plastic or glass container until it’s time to use them. Just toss it on the shower floor and get ready to feel amazing!

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These are even great if you aren’t feeling under the weather, but want a little “spa treatment” at home. They can irritate the eyes a little so be sure to avoid standing directly over the vapors.

I hope you found this tutorial as easy, fun and useful as I did! If you have any other suggestions for how to make these better, please feel free to leave me a comment!

🙂 Mandy

NiteDreamerDesigns

Handcrafted Swarovski Jewelry

Jewelry that Makes a Difference

 

DIY Chalkboard

Ah thrift stores!! I am absolutely in love with the new Savers that’s in town. We found fantastic pieces there, including our new couch for $24.99 and an awesome vintage distressed coffee table for $11.99.  So when I decided to make a chalkboard for our new kitchen, there was no doubt I was headed for the thrift store.

I found a great- and by great I mean GAUDY AS HELL- vintage frame at Savers for only a couple of bucks. It was an antique gold that had begun to flake and peel. But the designs along the edges were ornate and the the size was perfect. So we picked it up and headed to Walmart for the chalkboard paint. This was the most expensive part at $3.97.

I began by painting the frame with this lime green I already had on hand from another project some time ago. This color went perfectly over the gold of the frame, I am so happy with how it turned out! It took a couple coats to get the frame the color I wanted. I left it out overnight to dry before attempting to work on the chalkboard itself.

W..a..i..t..i..n..g… is the most horrible experience for any DIYer! It’s so hard to not rush through just to get it done and enjoy it NOW.

The next morning, the frame was dry and the perfect shade. So I decided to tackle the chalkboard. I taped up my frame and was on my second coat of chalkboard paint over the smooth glass top when everything went wrong. 😦

The paint was drying on the patio, I had JUST sprayed and stepped back inside when my neighbor in the unit above me decided to clean out her pots and dump soil ALL over our balcony! It destroyed the glass top because now everything was covered in soil which stuck like glue to the drying paint.

I was not about to give up on this project however. I decided to take off the back of the frame and use the board backing for the chalkboard instead. I must admit that I stabbed myself with a few of the staples as I was pulling them out of the frame. I also noticed a crack beginning in the glass, so out of this mess up, it probably saved us a bunch of broken glass all over our kitchen floor… again. (Kitty broke my serving plate yesterday!)

So I flipped over the backing, sprayed a few layers of the chalkboard paint and again w..a..i..t..e..d.. I finally got to place the board back into the frame and secured it with glue around the edges.

I love creating these projects but OMG do I hate the waiting! I always feel like I’m in the JGWentworth commercials when I’m doing these projects because it’s my project and I need it NOW! But I must say it is well worth it, if you can just get over the waiting period. 🙂

Happy Beading Everyone!

Mandy of NiteDreamerDesigns

NiteDreamerDesigns

Handcrafted Swarovski Jewelry

Jewelry is More than a Pretty Piece

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Beader DIY Projects to Make Life Easier!

Began setting up the studio today. There’s still so much work to be done, but at least it’s a start. I can start working again. I only lost a weekend but I feel like I’ve lost weeks worth of work. The weekends are really when I get the majority of my work done, so to miss out on the first weekend of October is just a bummer. But October is still off to a great start. I’m hoping this year will end with a bang! Knock on wood!

I have big plans with room, beside creating my new crafting table. Because this room has no windows, I plan on creating a wall of mirrors along the white wall, using 3 full length mirrors laid horizontally. This will give the room a lot of light reflected from the patio (directly behind me when I took this picture) giving the room more depth and dimension.

Along the slate wall we plan to hang a world map so I can track my sales across the globe with fun push pins. It’s neat being able to reach people thousands of miles away with my tutorials and jewelry. It’s really amazing. 🙂

On the smaller wall across from the slate wall (not pictured) I plan to put the movie posters of my two favorite movies: JAWS and Finding Nemo!

While some of these are easy enough to fulfill, some of the items I need in order to finish my studio have not been moved or unpacked yet. So in the meantime I thought I would work on a couple of quick projects that would make my life as a beader SO MUCH easier! These little easy cheats are something I should have done years ago, but haven’t gotten around to until recently. For those crafters out there that haven’t invested in these two very simple projects, I HIGHLY recommend them.

The first is creating my own bead board. I had a cheap foam board that I had purchased from Michael’s for about $5.00 a few years back. It’s been to hell and back and the sides have been cracking off slowly but surely. I was about ready to give up on it until an old cork board/dry erase board began to crack apart.  So I turned both “broken” pieces into one new nifty piece. (Sorry there’s no pictures of the process here!)Because the sides of the bead board were already cracking off, I cracked the rest of them off. Then using my E6000 glue I glued the base of the bead board to the top of the cork board. I left more of the cork exposed on the right hand side of the board because I’m right handed. Most of my needle work and such is done with my right hand. There’s also plenty of room along the top and bottom of the boards. Once the glue was dried, I cut down some of our packing boxes to support the sides of the bead board that didn’t sit flush against the cork. I used a knife to make sure the cardboard didn’t stick out along the sides. Once these were the exact size I wanted them, I glued the cardboard in place.

This new board allows me to pin threads along the side to keep m pieces taught while working, or gives me a pin cushion for my beading needles while working on a project. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve nearly lost a needle in the couch or table or the floor! I cannot imagine how terrible that would be to find with our feet, or with the pets paws! YIKES!

The second mini project, isn’t really a “project” really, it’s just a little life hack for crafters. 🙂 A beading mat is always a good idea for beaders; it keeps all your stray beads safely on your work surfaces. A requirement for working on a hard surface as beads can bounce away way too easily! I’ve seen these sticky bead mats go for $20, $30, $40 online and in local stores. I always wanted one but never wanted to spend that much money for one! But at the same time I really don’t even want to think of how much money I’ve lost in stray beads or how many times Mike has brought me a bead after stepping on it! Anyway, I went to my local dollar store and picked up a fun colored yoga mat. I simply folded the mat to the length of my table and VIOLA! Sticky beading mat without the cost! $1.00 spent, hundreds maybe thousands saved!! Nice little life hack 🙂

Happy Beading Everyone!

Mandy of NiteDreamerDesigns

NiteDreamerDesigns

Handcrafted Swarovski Jewelry

Jewelry is More than a Pretty Piece

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Getting Settled and Ready to Start DIY Projects!

::::Sigh of relief:::: The move is finally over! But now begins the unpacking process. UGH! I really don’t know which I hate more, packing and moving or unpacking. I always feel like it’s more to unpack than I packed away. Not sure why, obviously it’s the same amount of stuff, it just feels like so much more to put away.

But moving is a chance to start fresh, try new ideas that you’ve wanted to and never got around it, or never thought would work before that suddenly do. This new place is like a fresh canvas and we get to scribble whatever we want on it. It’s fun to think of all the things we’d love to do, especially with my soon-to-be crafting studio.

Tonight, though, we are taking a breather from the unpacking process to have a nice relaxing night. Since moving on Friday, it seems I’ve come down with a nasty little cold. I’ve had a fever, body aches (unsure if these are from the cold or moving or both!) and sneezing like crazy. So packing is the last thing I want to do, though I have spent all day doing just that. So tonight, it’s time to relax, do some mild crafting (I’ve got a few orders that need to be shipped out tomorrow), while the boy plays some games and we watch Pixar movies all night! We’ve already gone through Up, Monster’s INC and now we are watching Wall-E. 🙂
So while we unpack and get settled we are going to be working on a few DIY projects to make our place uniquely OURS. Here’s a small preview of the DIY projects we are planning on tackling in the next couple of weeks, all of which I will share as we create them!

The crafting table

I wrote about our plans for this in my last blog post. We are going to modifying our existing kitchen table to have cabinets along two of the sides so that all of my jewelry supplies and tools may be stored safely along the sides, rather than in a million places, including the floor where our feet find them. OUCH!

DIY Kitchen Chalkboard

Recently we’ve discovered how awesome thrifting can be. We even bought our new couch and distressed vintage coffee table at a thrift store for only $40 combined! So we are going to be keeping an eye out for a fantastic- and slightly gaudy- vintage frame to turn into a chalkboard for our kitchen!

Taking it back to grade school with Elmer’s Glue and Canvas!

We are going to be using an old technique learned in grade school, letting Elmer’s Glue dry in awesome designs over canvas and then spray painting over the entire piece to create cool wall art. In our case, we are going with old school video game characters/designs!

DIY Wine Corkboard

This nifty little project is finally going to put those old wine corks to good use. We have a cute little breakfast bar in new place, so we are going to be creating wine cork boards and cork boards along the side walls of the breakfast bar to give our place some winery flare and also a fun place to pin our Christmas cards!

Along the way, I will be sure to take plenty of pictures so that I can share each DIY project with you all and hopefully inspire some fun crafting projects of your own! I’ll be posting everything on my Pinterest as well! So follow along. 🙂

Happy Beading Everyone!

Mandy of NiteDreamerDesigns

NiteDreamerDesigns

Handcrafted Swarovski Jewelry

Jewelry is More than a Pretty Piece

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Up Cycled Bookcase Given New Life

As part of my work on my crafting studio, I decided to part take in a fun little DIY project: create a fun crafting bookcase to house all my goodies. 🙂

Slowly but surely, my new studio is coming together. I’ve been trying to create my crafting space under a pretty tight budget. Michael and I don’t exactly have a lot of spare cash so everything thus far has been done on the cheap.


Prior to taking up taking up this project, my crafting supplies were all over the place. I had cases with supplies stashed in closets, in random bookcases and even stuff on the floor. I hated having everything all over the place. It made for a very unproductive work space. So decided that I needed to find a dresser or bookcase or something to be able to keep all of my stuff together in my studio nice and neat.

To keep on a budget, I decided to have a little fun with a DIY upcycle project using a crappy old bookcase we had hiding in the Man Cave. This bookcase was a white six cubbie hole bookcase from Target I had gotten years ago, along with some canvas drawers. This bookcase was one step away from dumpster material. It was scratched, scuffed and had definitely seen better days.

Now I have little to no painting skills and honestly, painting within a closed condo isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. So I turned to my next favorite crafting supply: Duct Tape. I was so excited when a few months ago I came across zebra Duct Tape at my local Walmart. I instantly bought a roll and have been going on a Duct Taping craze ever since. I’ve used this stuff on everything lately from an old jewelry box to my wallet and now to this bookcase.

To start I picked up 3 new rolls of the zebra duct tape, two had the same pattern and another had a slightly smaller stripe to help break up the patterns a bit. Then I went to town. I worked in stripes along the front of the cubbie first, then working along the top of the dresser and finally down the sides, working with a razor blade making sure all cuts were nice and even. The whole process took about three hours.

Add in some canvas drawers in a fun pink and purple to hide all my goodies. It took longer to find all my supplies from around the apartment and get it organized within the bookcase than to create the bookcase itself! So much stuff and now it’s all in one place! I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

Happy Beading Everyone!

Mandy of NiteDreamerDesigns

NiteDreamerDesigns

Handcrafted Swarovski Jewelry

Jewelry is More than a Pretty Piece

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