Upcycling Lipstick Tubes

National Lipstick Day! 5 Ways to Upcycle old Lipstick Tubes!

In honor of National Lipstick Day (yes July 29th… another weird made-up holiday), I have found a way to put to use those amazing swivel-ey wands of beauty. Hooray!

I’ve got a LOT of old lipstick tubes sitting around. They’re mostly one brand — I’m a creature of habit when it comes to makeup. Mine are Estee Lauder, and they’re very prettily designed, and made of metal. I hate throwing them out, and over the years have collected quite a vast number of them.

Here’s a great upcycle of your old lipstick containers. They’re, obviously, the perfect size for popping in your purse, they’re great for travel, and that twisty-action is pretty cool for storing other items. Examples: Sewing Kit, First Aid Kit, Pill Dispenser, Toothpick Holder, Match Container, Bobby Pin Holder… go crazy!

You’ll need:

  • Old Lipstick Tube
  • Chopstick or small dowel
  • Q-Tips
  • Alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Toothpicks

For Sewing Kit:

  • small piece of felt
  • safety pins
  • thread
  • needles
  • straight pins

For First Aid Kit:

  • Band Aids
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Pain Reliever

For Other Container Uses:

Whatever you want to carry in your lipstick tube, e.g. toothpicks, bobby pins, breath mints, pain pills.

Cleaning Out Lipstick Tubes

This is, by far, the most time consuming part of the process. To start, I highly recommend REALLY using all the lipstick in the tube. Most lipsticks twist all the way out and are flush with the outer sleeve of the tube whilst still having at least 1/4″ of product still in the tube… sometimes a LOT more! To get the most out of your initial purchase, get a lip brush, and apply the lipstick with a brush. My lipsticks last a few months more than if I didn’t use this method.

If you use the lip brush method before getting to the upcycle, you save yourself a lot of work.

Once you have a pretty much empty tube, clean out ALL the leftover lipstick. I start with a chopstick,

then a paper towel soaked in alcohol,

then q-tips,

then toothpick,

and finish with more alcohol-soaked paper towels.

See how much lipstick comes out? Really spend the time cleaning.

Make a Travel Sewing Kit

Cut a small strip of felt, about 2″ x 4″

Roll the felt into a tube and test-fit in the lipstick tube. Trim if necessary.

Attach your sewing kit items:

Safety pins, straight pins, needles and thread

Roll the felt into a narrow tube, and slide into the cleaned out lipstick tube.

You’re done!

Make a First Aid Kit

Create a roll of kit items, using the band aids or alcohol pad as the outer layer.

Roll up the items and slide into your lipstick tube. Instant emergency first aid kit!

Fill Tube with Other Important Stuff

Simply fill the cleaned out tube with other important but falls-to-the-bottom-of-the-purse/pocket/suitcase stuff.

Place Toothpicks, Bobby Pins, Matches, Pain Pills, Breath Mints inside the fully lowered lipstick tube.

Enjoy this new container of organization.

Enjoy!

I first made one of these when I was a kid, and forgot about them until a few years back. I love that I’m not throwing away a groovy, mechanized container, and the organization that these pretty little tubes provide is fantastic.

Anyone out there who are looking for something more “manly” or unisex to carry… you can also use Chapstick or other lip balm tubes the same way.

What other uses might you find for leftover tubes? Let me know in the comments.


DIY Feet Pampering Kit

Fabulous DIY Foot Fixes – Loofah Soap, Lotion Bars & Refreshing Spray

Fabulous DIY Foot Fixes -- The Tamara Blog

Let’s face it, our feet need care. After weeks of wearing flip flops, a few long days of standing at the job, or just their day-to-day function of supporting you, it’s nice to give your ‘dogs’ a little TLC.

This kit covers all the bases of good foot maintenance: exfoliation, hydration and freshening, with three of my favorite go-to foot favorites, Lovely Loofah Soap, Extra Moisturizing Lotion Bar and Refreshing Foot Spray. And they can be used on more than just your feet.

I use two foot-friendly essential oils to scent these items. They’re readily available, and perfectly suited for pampering your piggies.

Peppermint oil — it’s anti-microbial, anti-fungal, an antioxidant, and even has anti-edema properties.

Tea tree oil has some of the same properties, being antibacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic, antiviral, it’s a fungicide, and even a stimulant! Additionally they smell delicious and are appreciated by both men and women. Here’s what you need to know to make each of these fabulous herbal body products.

Loofa Soap and Funky Foot Fixes, The Tamara Blog

 

Exfoliating Lovely Loofah Soap

This scrubbie-embedded soap is nice to use on rough spots.

Loofa Soap Ingredients. The Tamara Blog

Materials and Supplies:

  • Loofah sponge
  • Glycerin Soap Base — unscented
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Soap Molds — I use molds made for this purpose, but you can also use muffin tins, fancy ice or candy molds
  • Serrated Knife
  • Pyrex Measuring Cup or other heat-safe jar (mason jars work)
  • Chopstick (for stirring)

Prepare loofah by slicing with serrated knife. I like making my slices the same height as my molds. This keeps the loofah exposed, so its scrubbing qualities are available right from the start. Place loofah slices in molds.

Loofa Slices -- The Tamara Blog

Loofa Slices, The Tamara Blog

Loofsa Slices in mold. The Tamara Blog

Each soap mold holds 3 to 4-ounces of soap, and most meltable soaps come scored in 1-ounce sections. Cut soap base into squares and place in heat-proof measuring cup.

Melted Glycerin Soap -- The Tamara Blog

If using microwave, melt soap in 40-second increments. It usually only takes 2 to 3 rounds to melt all the soap. If using stove method, place mason jar/pyrex cup in water in saucepan.

Add peppermint & tea tree oil to melted soap base. For 2 cups of soap, I recommend 10 drops of each.

Adding Fragrance -- The Tamara Blog

Color in Melted Soap -- The Tamara Blog

Add food coloring, if using. I used 2 drops of blue and 1 small drop of green.

Mix colors and essential oils thoroughly into melted soap.

Pour soap into prepared molds, pressing down on loofah to ensure full saturation.

Loofa Soap and Funky Foot Fixes, The Tamara Blog

Loofa Soap -- The Tamara Blog

Loofa Soap and Funky Foot Fixes, The Tamara Blog

Loofa Soap and Funky Foot Fixes, The Tamara Blog

20150823_101755

Allow bars to cool for 30 to 40 minutes, and un-mold. If soaps don’t come out of molds easily, pop in the freezer for a few minutes.

Loofa Soap and Funky Foot Fixes, The Tamara Blog

 

Moisturizing Lotion Bars

 

Lotion Bars -- The Tamara Blog

 

Use this solid lotion bar a bit like chap-stick for your feet. Apply to rough patches, and rub in. The butters & oils will moisturize, and the fragrance will help de-funk those tootsies!

Materials and Supplies:

Lotion Bar Ingredients -- The Tamara Blog

  • 1/4 cup Shea Butter or Cocoa butter
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Beeswax — grated
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 20 drops Peppermint Oil
  • Pyrex Measuring Cup or other heat-safe jar (mason jars work)
  • Small Molds

Candy and Ice Molds for Lotion Bars -- The Tamara Blog

Combine shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax and melt. If using a microwave, heat in 30-second increments. If using the stove, place mason jar or measuring cup in water in saucepan.

Melting Lotion Bar ingredients -- The Tamara Blog

The beeswax will be the last ingredient to melt. In order not to burn or overheat the mixture, remove from heat once most of the solids are melted, then stir until the beeswax is incorporated. Reheat for a few seconds, if necessary. Add essential oils and stir.

Lotion Bars -- The Tamara Blog

Lotion Bars -- The Tamara Blog

Lotion Bars -- The Tamara Blog

Pour into molds, allow to cool, and un-mold.

Funky Foot Fixes -- The Tamara Blog

Refreshing Foot Spray

This spray can be used in stinky shoes, or directly on feet for a an invigorating and odor-reducing boost. Use sparingly on skin, as alcohol can be drying.

REfreshing Foot Spray -- The Tamara Blog

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 1/2 cup Vodka
  • 20-30 drops Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, or a combination of both
  • Spray Bottle

Combine vodka and essential oils, pour into spray bottle. Shake well before using.

Refreshing Foot Spray -- The Tamara Blog

Refreshing Foot Spray -- The Tamara Blog

Packaging and Tips

Funky Foot Fixes -- The Tamara Blog

Funky Foot Fixes -- The Tamara Blog

Find a set of labels for your fantastic foot products here. They’re compatible with most 2-1/2″ circle sticker sheet templates, or you can simply cut them out of paper and glue on. Label and package all your goodies, and you’re done.

The loofa soap is fantastic for feet, but is equally welcome as a body exfoliator in the shower. Switch up the essential oils to your fragrance favorites. Same with the lotion bars – they are great for scaly elbows, or even to moisturize cuticles. And because they’re in solid form, they’re easy to travel with. No worries about spilling or TSA screening!

Enjoy pampering your ‘paws’ or whatever!

Lovely DIY Foot Pampering Kit -- The Tamara Blog

 


Super-Fast DIY Valentine Candle with Printable Water Slide Decals

All right. Let me be candid. My inspiration sometimes comes late in the game. So here I am, just a couple days from Valentine’s day, and I don’t have a gift. Are you in the same boat? Good news: Here’s a beautiful, easy and quick craft you can make in just a few minutes.

I Love You Candle -- The Tamara Blog

Are you familiar with water slide decals? They were kind of a mysterious thing in my childhood, and I loved them. Today the decals come in custom-printable paper, so you can make your own beautiful designs!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this customized candle

  • Glass Candle, 6 to 8oz. size
  • Water Slide Decal Paper — for laser or Inkjet printers (I used inkjet)
  • Polyurethane Spray Sealer (Minwax, Krylon)
  • Scissors
  • Glass of Water
  • Paper Towel

Water slide decal paper can be found in art supply stores (my Blick store carries it), some craft stores, and of course, online. If you don’t have any, I recommend buying some right now, and having it on hand for future projects!

I’ve created a single sheet with 9 decals on it, in 3 colors, you can download it here: Heart Love Candle Decals. (In the pic “je t’aime” is misspelled. It’s correct on the printout!)

Decal Sheet-- The Tamara Blog

Thanks to the Graphic’s Fairy for the hearts!

Print according to your decal paper’s instructions. Mine is for inkjet printers, and the instructions state to print with “best” resolution and selecting “glossy photo” paper. Once printed, spray two coats of spray sealer over the printed page. (This prevents the ink from running once you place the decal in water.) Allow the sealer to dry completely between coats, usually 20 to 30 minutes.

By the way, I didn’t count the waiting-do-dry time in the project, figuring you could be reading a book or something else during this time. 😉

 

Cutting Decal

Trimmed Decal

Cut the image from the sheet, and trim close to printing.

Immerse the decal in a cup of water for 45 to 60 seconds.

 

Into Wter

Decal in water

Decal comes off paper

After 45 seconds or so, the decal will start to slip away from the backing paper. At this point, carefully remove the decal and paper, and slide the decal onto the candle glass.

Decal and paper

Onto Glass

Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles with your fingers.

Using a dry paper towel, dab away any excess water, checking again for pesky bubbles. Smooth with fingers if necessary.

Look carefully for bubbles

Allow to dry for half an hour or so, and your gift is ready to give. No stress, just an easy, beautiful and personal Valentine!

Love Candle P1080211

If you would like to construct your own word designs, the link for the Graphic’s Fairy will give you the hearts. The font I use is “Academy Entraved LET.”

I have two lovely friends who have fantastic candle companies… check them out! The candle in my pics is from Gwendolyn Mary.

Gwendolyn Mary Candles and Andrea Schroder Candles

And finally, if you’re looking for a great Valentine’s Day food gift, check out my Chocolate Truffle Spoons. They’re so good! (If I do say so myself.)

Truffle spoon on rose

Happy Valentine’s Day! xxoo

 


Mother’s Day craft — Scented Soap Petals DIY

DIY Soap Petals

Mother’s Day (in the US) is May 11th this year. Here’s a quick but special gift for any Mom.

 

Scented Soap Petals

These soap petals are, in effect, beautifully scented, teeny, tiny washcloths. A little treat for your guests and a great twist on the hostess gift.

Tools and Supplies:

  • Fabric Rose Petals — available at craft stores in the Wedding section.
  • Glycerin soap base, unscented – from craft stores, or sometimes found at grocery stores.
  • Essential oils –your fragrance makers. Get them at drug stores, craft stores, or online.

Instructions:

Cut the soap into cubes and place in a glass bowl, 5 oz will make about 75 petals. You can melt the soap using a microwave, but a double boiler is better at maintaining a constant temperature.

When the cubes have melted, stir in your essential oil. 5-10 drops is plenty. When choosing your fragrance, you can always use rose, as the petals are usually rose petals. But you can also consider the color of your petals – neroli or grapefruit oil for peach-colored petals or lavender scent for purple petals.

One by one, give your fabric petals a quick dip. It’s important to only dip one at a time, so they don’t stick together and make a mess. Make sure they’re fully coated. Remove them with chopsticks, tongs or tweezers. Cool on a metal rack and your petals are done!

Place in a pretty dish on your bathroom counter. For those who aren’t sure how to use them, a friendly note is always helpful (see below). No messy bar-soap, no ugly hand soap. Yay!

They can also be scattered to make a romantic bubble bath. But do remember to remove the petals before draining the tub or you’ll have to call a plumber.

I’ve included some text for you to put in your soap petal dish. (Soap Petal Labels)

Bonus Tip: I like to make mine semi-waterproof by covering with packing tape before cutting out.

If you’re looking for more fancy labels, check out the printables at my pal Cathe Holden’s blog, here.

 


Midsummer Floral Head Wreath — A Scandinavian Tradition

Floral Head Wreaths

In northern European countries, where the winters are very long, very cold and very dark, the much-anticipated arrival of summer is definitely something to celebrate. The festival commemorating such an arrival is aptly titled, Midsummer. It’s celebrated on or near the solstice (the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere), which usually falls on June 21st. Depending on cultures and calendars, however, the date for midsummer festivals varies, and can come as late as June 25th.

In Scandinavia, Midsummer is so revered it’s nearly as anticipated as Christmas or New Year.

Often thought of as a food-and-drink holiday, it’s traditional to eat foods that honor new life: new potatoes and the year’s first strawberries are consumed, and herbs are thought to be at their most flavorful and potent.

Strawberry Ganache Cake

Other traditions include placing greenery swags over doorways to bring good fortune and health, staging mock-weddings, and young girls placing flowers under their pillows, thus ensuring dreams of their future spouse.

Another charming tradition is the making and wearing of floral head-wreaths. They’re pretty, and unmistakably festive. Grown women and girls alike wear them, and they are easy to make.

Wreath on Kristen

Supplies:
22 gauge wire
Green Floral Tape
Assorted Flowers — smaller ones work better
Ribbon 1/8″ to 1/4″ wide
Wire cutters
ScissorsP1050901 Supplies

Measure out enough wire to fit around your head, then add 2″ and cut.
Form that length of wire into a circle.

P1050823 Wrap Wire Ends

Using the last 1” of each end, twist together to secure.

Choose flowers, cut stems to 3″ to 4″ lengths.

P1050899 Cut Flowers

To make the wreath you’ll start at the front of the wire circle (the part farthest away from the twisted ends), and add flowers to one half of the circle, working your way to the back. When that half is done, you’ll return to the front and repeat the process on the remaining half.
P1050844 Wrapping Tape

Beginning at the front, hold flower parallel to the wire and wrap with floral tape. Start near the blossom, and spiral the tape tightly around both stem and wire until the entire length of the stem is fully wrapped around the wire.

Lay on the next flower, overlapping stems and wrap with floral tape as before. Continue overlapping flowers and wrapping stems with tape toward the back of the wire where the ends are twisted together.

Once the first half is complete, return to the front, and repeat the process overlapping stems and wrapping with tape on the remaining half until the wire circle is covered with blossoms.

 Rose and Mum Wreath

Once all flowers are in place, you may need to add more tape to make everything more secure.

Cut ribbon to 72″ long, use a half-hitch knot to attach at the center-back of the ring, or tie in a bow.
P1050842 Rose Wreath
For a full wreath, you’ll use 15 to 25 flowers, depending on size. If your desired wreath has flowers that just cover the front, use the floral tape to cover all the bare wire for a finished look.
P1050868 Beauty Orange Wreath
Faux flowers are hardier, and a bit easier to work with. Real blooms can break and lose petals as you work with them, so treat them with care. For the best of both worlds, create the base of your wreath with faux greens and light filler flowers, then add real rosebuds or other less-fragile flowers to add scent and a more natural look.

Parts of Scandinavia are called The Land of the Midnight Sun, because on these long summer days, the sun never sets! When I was there as an exchange student, we would go out in the evenings and tell my Norwegian mother, “We’ll be home by dark!”

Enjoy this welcoming of the summer sun, and happy Midsummer!

On Set


Wonderful White Glue — Alternative uses!

It’s official.  Official in that I had it put on my new business card:  I’m a Craft Maniac.  Not news to anyone who knows me, and I’m proud to be one.

Like any proper “maniac,” I do delve into certain subjects with more-than-average interest – some of the fruits of that ‘delving’ can be seen here on the Tamara Blog.  But I digress.  Speaking of delving, let’s examine the humble white glue.  We’ve been familiar with it for decades, and honestly, with all the ‘adhesive technology’ that has popped up in the last few years, plain ol’ Elmer’s is still my go-to-glue.

So exactly what is it?  White glue, sometimes called carpenter’s glue, wood glue, school glue — among other things — is actually Polyvinyl Acetate, also known as PVA glue.

It’s used widely in crafts, woodwork – hence the name, ‘wood glue.’  I’ve even read that PVA can be used as a coating to protect cheese from fungi and humidity.  Hmm.  I’m not so sure about that one.  While PVA glues don’t emit harmful fumes, the glue is toxic to ingest.  So, if you have a childhood taste for paste, this is one glue you don’t want to eat!

Aside from the paper, leather and wood binding properties of the awesome adhesive, here are a couple of lesser-known non-craft uses for wonderful White Glue.

THE WONDERS OF WHITE GLUE

Fabulous beauty trick:  White glue can be put on your face in place of those expensive blackhead remover strips.  Check to make sure you’re not allergic to the glue, and then simply apply to your bad-skin prone areas.  Smear on, let dry, and then when it’s dry, gently pull off, and come away with super clean skin. (Caution: like when you use those strips, your tiny hairs will come off too.)   For me, it even works better than the drugstore strips, and it’s custom sized!

Relieve the ouch:  So you’re opening the mail, and get a paper cut.  Dang those hurt!  Grab your bottle of white glue, and put a little drop on top of the cut.  Let it dry, and you’ll have a barrier that will keep out dirt, seal out air, and dull the pain until it heals, and the cut won’t crack open again.

Another ouch:  It’s also great for removing splinters – just put a dab on top of the splinter, wait for it to dry, and peel it off.  Splinter comes out with the removal of the glue.

Glam:  Finally, you can mix a little watered down glue with food coloring and glitter, and use for dramatic hair streaks that also have some structure.  Use sparingly, as a little goes a long way.  But the look is so cool.  And, when it comes time to wash it out, make sure to soak hair well in warm water before shampooing.

So there you have it… enjoy some new uses for white glue.  But before I leave you, can anyone tell me why glue doesn’t stick to the inside of the bottle??  (Kidding… It’s a rhetorical question.  But it does make you think!)