Handmade Fridays: Hair Powder

Readymade Magazine posted a recipe for hair powder that uses horsetail powder, kaolin clay, and arrowroot powder. If you don't know what hair powder is, it's a powder mix that you sprinkle on your hair to keep it looking fresh in between washes. I also like the texture it gives my hair. The problem with a lot of store-bought powders is that they contain talc, synthetic fragrances and colorings; none of which I would want to be inhaling on a weekly basis. They're also pretty pricey, I can buy all the ingredients to make many batches for the price of one store-bought bottle. 

Horsetail powder is rich in silica, which promotes healthy hair growth, kaolin clay is absorbent, and arrowroot powder is a safe alternative to talc. Essential oils add safe fragrance, and depending on which one you use, could have medicinal properties as well. All the ingredients are from mountainroseherbs.com, they're a good, reputable company to buy from. I put the mix in an old spice jar, made a snazzy label with some stamps, and it's good to go! If you want to make your own, the recipe is here.


Handmade Fridays: Easter Dress from the Built By Wendy: Dresses book

I got the Built By Wendy: Dresses book for my birthday last year. I didn't intend for this to be an Easter dress, but that's when I finally had the time to finish it. This Built By Wendy book was another great addition to my sewing library (I already had Sew U and Sew U Knits by the same author.) The Dresses book goes into more detail about pattern alteration, though it is by no means a pattern drafting book. It comes with three simple dress patterns, and step-by-step directions to alter those patterns into 25 different designs. I found that this was a really easy project, but I have a little background in pattern drafting. 

Both of the materials I used for this dress are vintage; the yellow is from an estate sale, and the green is from my grandma's basement. I might go back and line the skirt to give it a little more body. One of my favorite details is the little pink button I used to close the back keyhole. I went to my grandma's house looking for a white one, but when I saw the pink, I decided I liked it better. This dress zips up the back, and I think the next dress I make will have an elastic waist since those are so much more comfortable! 
One of the dresses in the Spring/Summer '11 line has an elastic waist, and I just sourced some really soft elastic for them, so they will be super comfortable. As soon as I work out how I want the back to be finished, they will be done!


Handmade Fridays: Cleaners!

I decided to change "Style Fridays" into "Handmade Fridays" so I would actually have something to regularly share.  I kind of rotate the same dozen outfits week after week, and haven't made myself anything new in a while. I'm too busy making clothing for everyone else! (Which is no problem, I enjoy having a tiny wardrobe.)

For this first installment of Handmade Fridays, I'm sharing my arsenal of homemade, natural cleaners. Most of these are ridiculously easy to make.  And waayyy cheaper. Almost all of them are some variation of vinegar, baking soda, water, and essential oils.

-All-purpose cleaner = 1 part vinegar + 1 part water + 10 drops of any anti-fungal/viral/bacterial essential oil (lemon, tea tree, lavender).
-Fabric softener = gallon of vinegar + 20 drops of any essential oil.
-Glass cleaner = 1 part water + 1 part vinegar (though I realized I can use the all-purpose cleaner to do the same job).
-Air freshener/"Febreeze" = 8 oz water + 7 drops of any essential oil.
-Hardwood floor cleaner = Bucket of warm water + big splash of vinegar + 3 drops lemon essential oil.
-Spraying vinegar and then hydrogen perioxide on a surface will disinfect most surfaces.
-Dish soap = castile soap + anti-fungal /viral/bacterial essential oil (lemon, tea tree, lavender)
-The recipe for the shower spray/mold and mildew preventer is from The Naturally Clean Home, which is a handy little book with a bunch of natural cleaner recipes to use everywhere around the home.
-The recipe for the automatic dishwasher detergent can be found here, and it's easier to make than a pot of macaroni and cheese. All you do is combine the ingredients together and heat it up.

I found the awesome label outlines here, at the Just Something I Made blog, and I customized them to match what I was making, using the Diehl Deco font. Then I printed them and taped them on the old (thoroughly washed) cleaner bottles with clear packing tape.

So it was an easy project, and although it was a little time-consuming in the beginning to figure out the recipes and ingredients I could replace my traditional cleaners with, I enjoyed doing it. And making more of each cleaner is super easy and very fast. Plus, not breathing in mystery chemicals and not paying a premium for advertising and fancy packaging is a big bonus. 


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