Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to Make Wood Stain from Natural Dyes

A few months ago, one of my friends was talking about using natural dyes to make her own beautifully colored dresses. Then about a week ago I ran across this amazing post about making natural dyes over at the blog a pair and a spare. I believe they got their initial inspiration from a DIY Wednesday post from  This post is absolutely excellent and if you have ever been interested in natural dyes you should definitely check it out. Anyways, that post got me thinking about using these dyes for natural DIY wood stain. So last weekend I made up a recipe, and surprisingly enough it worked!!!

As usual, necessity is the mother of invention. This last weekend I was at my parents house with my brother who wanted to build a display stand for his 20 gallon aquarium. My dad has a plethora of home milled lumber and some fun power tools so there was no way I could pass on such a project.
Together a good friend of mine, my brother and I got to work build the aquarium stand. The picture below shows how the aquarium stand turned out (you can see the DIY Stain in the bottom left corner):

DIY Aquarium Stand for 20 gallon Fish Tank
Now that we had a finished project, we realized we needed some wood stain. So I improvised (using some of the knowledge from this post about making natural dyes) and I quickly whipped up a stain using beets, spinach, vinegar and flour. We went ahead and applied the stain with an old rag and this is how it turned out!

DIY Aquarium Stand with Beet and Spinach Wood Stain
I didn't end up with too many pictures as I wasn't really sure that this was going to work out. However,  given the success of this stain, I plan on doing further experiments with these natural dyes. When I create more DIY Natural Stains I will post more detailed recipes.

Read below for directions on how to make your own wood stain from natural dyes!

DIY Baked Kale Chips

After stuffing my face over Thanksgiving I found myself craving a healthy snack. I needed something salty AND healthy to wean me down from a weekend overeating. Enter Kale Chips!

I was originally inspired by a post on Kale Chips over at Wellness Mama. As Wellness Mama points out,  kale is extremely nutritious, readily available in the fall, and all around oozing with healthiness. On its own kale is a pretty dense leafy green, that can sometimes be a little bitter. Kale chips on the other hand are light, crispy and delicious. Unfortunately, in the store they are very expensive. The good news is that they can be made at home in about 20 minutes with really basic and inexpensive ingredients!

Read below for the recipe to make your own!

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Facial Cleanser and/or Body Scrub

I decided to make my own body scrub and facial cleanser after learning about the potential health effects of many ingredients found in conventional beauty products such as parabens and phthalates. Parabens have been linked to cancer and phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Since a facial scrub or body scrub is used daily and is directly applied to the body's largest, porous organ (the skin) I figured it would be best to cease using any product that contained any such ingredient (which my old facial scrub did contain). At first I looked for products that didn't include and nasty parabens or phthalates, unfortunately such products in my price range were not very easy to find.  So as usual I did a little research and decided to make my own.

Check out the video and the recipe below to learn how to make it yourself!