Monday, December 10, 2012

Pinter*Mel Christmas 2012 - SPOILER ALERT FOR FAMILY

Hey Everyone (except for family, because if you're reading this, then the presents currently sitting under the tree from me are no longer a surprise...however they might not be already because I've been posting quite a bit of stuff to Facebook, in which case, carry on.)

This year for all the ladies in the family I decided to make my own version of the natural beauty box; a box full of lotions, lip balms, bath bombs, and linen spray all made by yours truly and only using all-natural ingredients. 

I purchased all I would need to make these back in early October from a great online retailer called Savon Populaire out of Montreal. Yes their website it completely in French, however if you're using Google Chrome their translate button will help you out. 

Here's the numbers I started out working with:

First of all I went to the Dollar Store and picked up some nifty little wooden boxes, which I proceeded to paint with watered down acrylic paint (acts like a stain so you can still see the wood grain), and then sealed with Polycrylic. 

Then I started into making lip balms. I used the kit from Savon Populaire, and purchased their vanilla flavouring. I found that the flavouring was lacking in the vanilla'y department, so I added the vanilla I had purchased for making bath bombs. I also made lip balms that are flavoured with the orange essential oil, and then another set with the peppermint essential oil that I also purchased from Savon Populaire. 

(Sorry for the abysmal lighting, I took this with my smart phone during sunset.)

This was stupidly easy. Seriously. If you ever want to do this with your kid as a birthday party favour or something, they could totally do this with your supervision of course...because there's a stove and boiling water involved. Okay, upon review this might not be the safest thing to do...iirc I think I ended up burning myself. Forget what I said. 

Then, once they were cool and set, I minimalistically labelled them. Orange for the orange flavour, green for peppermint, and yellow for vanilla. The labels are basic shipping labels with Sharpie paint marker paint. 

After that I decided to make Christmas cards because a) stationary was on for $1.50 at Michael's, and b) stamps were on 40% off, and then were on 'buy one, get one for a cent' sale!

I had initially done the entire inside of the card in the hand-stamped letters; "To So and So, Merry Christmas, Love Evan and Melissa xoxo". However when I showed it to my fiancĂ© he said it looked a wee bit ransom-note'ish, so I decided to just go with Merry Christmas and write the rest. 

Those were all sent out if you're family and reading this, the surprise is now ruined. You'll get your card in 2-3 business days. 

On to the body butter. I made this from a kit from Savon Populaire as well. I made two different kinds; one was lavender/lime and the other was a scent called "Day at the Beach", which is a combination of grapefruit, bergamot, and coconut. 

Wine was needed. 

This was also stupidly easy. It's impossible to mess it up. You melt the stuff they give you, add the scent, and then load it into the containers. Wait for it to cool/harden, then close'em up, wipe'em off, and label'em. 

On to bath bombs. I made 5 different kinds this year. Vanilla, Day at the Beach, Lavender/lime, Lavender/chamomile, and then straight up orange for the littles. 

I packaged them all in individual cellophane packages with hand-stamped labels. 

And finally, I did the linen spray. Which is really just water, witch hazel, and the essential oil of your choice. I did 3 kinds; orange, lavender, and vanilla. 

That's it! Done. Not so bad, eh?  

I'm not going to show you the packaged up version, because there has to be some holiday surprise! But needless to say all of the stuff went into each person's painted box with a list of all the ingredients in each product. 

So that's it! All the ladies are done for Christmas! DIY styles! 

What presents did you DIY this year?



Friday, November 23, 2012

Official Pinter*Mel Project #10 - Fun with Vintage Scrabble Tiles

First and foremost, I'm sorry I've been kinda out of the craft blogging loop for the past couple weeks, BUT.....


So now all that creepy wedding pinning I do on Pinterest can be for real!!! Yay!!! So expect this blog to take a DIY Wedding turn come January 2013. 

Anyways, back to the craft at hand. 

The Inspiration: Scrabble Tile Family Signs

First thing I did was hit up eBay for a killer deal on 500 vintage Scrabble tiles. Bonus; they were from Quebec, so a) I didn't wait 2+ weeks for them, and b) I didn't get hosed by US shipping. 

Then once I picked out all the tiles for the Scrabble tile family signs (which was more painstaking that you think, Y's are few and far between and extremely popular in pretty much all names), I moseyed over to my local purveyor of shadow boxes and emptied their stock (and for the record, they're still out). 

Then I laid out the Scrabble tiles on the matting and centre them as much as possible so it doesn't look lopsided. 

Once satisfied with placement, I used Mod Podge Matte to affix the tiles to the matting. 

While waiting for the tiles to finish drying, I Windexed the crap out of the glass. 

Then popped the matting back into the shadow box and voila! 

But wait, there's all that blank space in the bottom right-hand corner, something needs to go there...something both my fiancé and I love....


I used Glue Dots and Mod Podge Outdoor to get these Minifigs to stay put. 

Yay!!! Much better. 

My parents came up to Ottawa the day after we got engaged, so I decided to make them a Christmas ornament. 

First I dug out the letters. J, also difficult to find! 

Then I glued them to a piece of card stock using Mod Podge Matte. 

After they were completely dry I cut them out using plain ole scissors, and my razor to get in the edges. 

I used a piece of ribbon for the ornament hanger. Cut a piece long enough to fit around a tree branch, glued it down in a criss-cross on the back of the ornament. 

Then to secure the ornament hanger I cut out another piece of card stock and stuck it to the back of the ribbon and ornament; making a ribbon sammich. 

Trimmed off the excess using my razor. 

And there you have it! An adorable, personalized, Christmas ornament!

For all you crafty types who are looking for something ridiculously simple, yet awesome, to do with your children for Christmas presents this year, THIS IS IT. Seriously, paper, glue, Scrabble tiles, and some ribbon. That's it. You are only limited by your imagination! 

Have you used Scrabble tiles, or any other game tiles or computer keys to make something personalized? If so, please share in the comments below, I'd LOVE to hear about your projects!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Official Pinter*Mel Project FAIL #2 OR How my intended bowl is now an awesome coaster.

I had a plan to make little bowls for Christmas present presentation this year. I thought a cute little bowl with an owl stamped into the bottom would have been a nice way to hold the homemade beauty goodies I plan on giving out as presents. This was the's a good thing I'm flexible, and willing to improvise. 

The Inspiration: DIY Lace Bowl

So my first mistake was buying Sculpey Original, not that there's anything wrong with the product, it just was the wrong version of this product for this particular project.

You see, most of the DIY air-dry clay recipes call for 3 cups of white glue. I don't know if any of you have purchased white glue lately, but buying enough to get 3 cups worth isn't exactly cheap. Also, making this stuff is kinda labour-intensive. I wanted to see if I could make this pretty quickly to gauge if it was going to sink or swim for Christmas presents. 

Yay! Sculpey! (and an owl stamp) 

I cut about a quarter of the whole slab off. 

And then proceeded to knead the ever-loving sh*t out of it. 

Then I grabbed my trusty rolling pin and rolled it out...but not too thin; bowl thin. 

Once I got it evened out, I grabbed one of my smaller bowls as a template. 

Then using a butter knife and the spatchula thingy from this post, I cut it out. 

I evened out the edges a bit, and then pressed my adorable owl stamp into the middle of the future bowl.

Then I gently pressed the circle-owl into the upright bowl I used as the template. 

Remember how back at the beginning of the post I indicated that this was the wrong Sculpey product for this project, this became apparent to me at this stage. In order for this product to dry it has to go in the oven, it can't just air dry in the bowl. I needed an air-dry version of this Sculpey product.  SO I FRANTICALLY looked around my house for a like-sized bowl I could repress my circle-owl into and then put in the oven. 

Alas, it was not to be. 

So I did my best to form the edges while my over preheated to 275F. 

While my bowl-fail/coaster-win was baking, I decided to use the left-over scraps to make some ornaments for Christmas. 

In the oven you go! 

Once my bowl-fail/coaster-win had cooled down enough, I threw on some paint. 

And then I threw a layer of Mod Podge Outdoor over top to seal it. 

[Pro Tip: Skip this step. It made my coaster sticky, and now my mug sticks to it. Very annoying.]

Yay! Coaster-win!!!

Moral of the story - buy a clay product that will air dry, OR don't be a lazy ass like me and make your own air-dry stuff.