As part of this #journeytozerowaste and #passonplastic that we have adopted as a family, I was keen to try and make as many of our own things as we could.
I enjoy making things and crafting but I wish I was much better at knitting, crocheting and sewing – these are skills that are incredibly practical for a #journeytowaste lifestyle.
There are lots of useful bits and bobs you can make using them – all the knitting and crocheting to keep you warm through those chilly days but you could also crochet a #plasticfree shower puff, make up remover face pads, crochet or knit your own dishcloth, or make those fab #turtlebags.
If I could, I would be making lots of these! And if I had a sewing machine, along with the time and skill, I would be making (or trying to!) make my own produce bags, make up remover pads, snack bags, unpaper towels (reusable paper towels), cotton tissues and lots of other wonderful little useful tools.
Alas, I generally rely on purchasing and supporting many of the small work at home mamas (WAHMs) who will without a doubt do a much better job than I ever will!
However, as part of this process, there are some things that I am willing to try and make at home, and here are some of my favourites so far.
They are very easy to make, take very little time and once you have the ingredients in, they can be made time and time again.
Keep them for yourself, or give them as gifts, and either way, there will be a reduction in chemicals in these products, and alongside the knowledge of having made them yourselves, they make wonderful little gifts.
Good luck, have fun and I may well be back with some more cool homemade bits and bobs you can try to make at home!
There are many different recipes and combinations of ingredients that can be used to make your own homemade deodorant. This one is for me the easiest and one that works well for me.
- 2 tablespoon cornflour or arrowroot
- 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Several drops of an essential oil (you need to use an antibacterial one – Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, bergamot, lemongrass, oregano, thyme, clove, basil and rosemary, cinnamon).
Melt the coconut oil down until it has all melted (this doesn’t take very long, a blast in a microwave will be fine) and then stir in the other dry ingredients, and mix the oils in last.
Pour into a tin / tub and allow it to set. It could also be poured into a tin to make a bar and rubbed on as deodorant.
Once set, use your fingers to apply. These quantities filled this purple tin so it was a good size. I would imagine if you didn’t have a tin like this, you could use a silicone mould and use it as a rub on if you were careful with it.
For oils, I have used lavender for me and tea tree for my husband and both smell good.
There can be a very coconutty smell about it, but when you use it as a base, it’s hard to escape it! And nobody has told me so far that it doesn’t work, so for now, I take that as a good thing!
We love making these!
Previously, the kids would have had bubble bath in plastic containers, and as part of this #journeytozerowaste we wanted to switch this to a better product.
You can buy bathbombs in lots of places, but many will come wrapped in plastic and contain many chemicals that are not necessary. So, we found this recipe that works for us (most of the time!)
- ½ cup citric acid
- 1 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil, or other oils)
- 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts (or rock salt)
- 1-2 tablespoons water (use very sparingly, if needed at all)
- Food colouring
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add in the wet ingredients starting with the oil. You may not need to add the water – you want the mixture to be quite dry still. By adding more water and food colouring, it may become too wet.
Mix well with your hand and then pop into moulds. This is when I have an idea as to how much water I may need to add in – I have these super little moulds which actually make proper bath bombs, but if the mix is too wet, I can’t get them out properly and know I have gone past that point of them being just right.
If it is too wet, I just pop them either into a silicone mould or a bun case – press them down, and put them somewhere to harden and set.
Pro Tip #1 – I add the oil first and then very slowly add the water and food colouring. I tend to place them in the middle of the bowl and then quickly mix the ingredients around them quickly. You will notice the reaction happening as soon as the water / food colouring mix with the dry ingredients.
Pro Tip #2 – Pack the mixture into the moulds well and leave them to set. Leave them approx. 8-10 hours to make sure they are properly set, then pop into a bath and watch them fizz (hopefully!)
Don’t forget, there is oil in them so they leave you nicely moisturised, but also remember, your hair might need an additional rinse! And then the next time you make it, if you have these little moulds, you might have a better idea as to how much water / food colouring you might need to use.
The wellness mama provides a good recipe for bath bombs here, if you fancy trying hers too (very similar)
This was another switch I was excited to make. I tend to use after sun lotion or other lotions to moisturise my skin, particularly during the winter when it can be very dry.
I actually received a lotion bar as part of a barter, and really enjoyed the way it make my skin feel. These are handy as they are plastic free / packaging free and you can take them away with you if you want to (and they make nice gifts).
Equal amounts of shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax. I tend to use approx.. ¼ cup and that makes a good few for me.
Melt all the ingredients together (the beeswax will take longer than the others), mix them and pour into the moulds. The moulds could be a small silicone tray or other silicone cases. The number you make will obviously depend on the size of the vessel you pour them into.
Pro Tip #1 – I have chosen not to add anything else to the basic ingredients, although you could add in essential oils if you wanted.
Pro Tip #2 – for lip balm, you can use the same as above, but pour into a smaller tin. But, a suggestion to me was to drop the beeswax and use shea butter and coconut oil, so that’s another homemade product.
Pro Tip #3 – to take these away with you, a small beeswax wrap would be a good covering for them as there is a little residual grease coming from them, so you will need to protect both the bar and whatever you are going to be carrying it in!
These are just wonderful, and with the summer round the corner, tend to form part of our beauty routine, getting our skin ready for the sun (and exposure!)
My mum used to make her own scrubs with olive oil and sea salt and it always worked well. But there are so many other options out there. This simple vanilla sugar scrub is really lovely for hands, legs and arms – don’t use on your face as it’s too harsh for that. It will leave you nicely moisturised.
- Coconut oil (a good dollop – maybe a few tablespoons)
- White sugar (enough to absorb the coconut oil)
- Vanilla extract
Melt the coconut oil and mix in as much sugar as it takes to absorb the oil. Then add in some vanilla drops. I pop mine into a sealable glass jar and keep in the bathroom so I can use whenever I fancy.
Pro Tip #1 – this scrub works wonders on your hands. It is quite rough on your skin so put a small amount in the hand, and scrub both hands front and back. Rinse it all off thoroughly and dry. You should have hands that are incredibly soft and well moisturised from the coconut oil.
There are lots of other variations on this – use rock salt instead of the sugar; other oils instead of coconut oils.
Some recipes add in other spices or lavender or rosemary (I might try one like this once I have finished with this vanilla sugar scrub).
For a facial scrub, blitz up some porridge and mix with water (honey and yoghurt also work well!) and use gently on your face.
Coffee grinds is another option (use a handful in the shower – apparently unused is better as it doesn’t have the same retained water as used grinds)
There are other recipes online for lots of variations – find some and have fun experimenting.
I absolutely adore these! They are so handy, versatile, useful for everything and very easy to make.
- Pinking shears
- Greaseproof paper
Decide what size fabric you want to use (35cm x 35cms is a good size!) and use the pinking shears to trim right the way round (or trim after you have waxed)
I also like round ones, small ones – they are great for using up scraps of fabric.
Give the fabric a quick iron and pop a piece of grease-proof paper underneath the fabric.
Place the fabric on top and spread the beeswax over it (like spreading cheese over a pizza!)
Pop a second sheet of grease-proof paper on top, and iron!
You will see as the wax melts into the fabric, and you should be able to spot the areas where the wax hasn’t melted.
Spread more wax over these areas, and iron again.
You need to lift it off the sheet quickly once you are sure it is well covered and spread but watch your thumbs (I always burn them!)
It takes a little practice to get it just right, and you will get used to knowing exactly how much wax you will need to use to get the right coverage.
You can use these over and over! If you feel that they are losing their waxy feeling, place back between greaseproof paper again to refresh.
To care for wraps:
Wash with cold water, a small bit of detergent and wipe. You can use them to cover most things, but not raw meat (because you cannot wash it hot enough to kill any bacteria) and don’t microwave them!