Friday, July 31, 2009

Tingly mint body lotion recipe

Here’s a fun recipe for a mint body lotion from Pure and Natural Soaps!

Tingly Mint Body Lotion Recipe


1/2-cup mint water (see note below)
1/8 tsp. borax
1/2 c. sunflower oil
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. beeswax
3-4 drops peppermint oil (optional)


Mix together the mint water and the borax, stirring until well mixed. Set aside.

Mix together the sunflower oil, coconut oil, and beeswax in a glass measuring cup.

Place the cup with the oils–beeswax mixture in a pan of water (about 1 to 2 inches of water), making a water bath. Heat over medium heat until the beeswax is melted (8 to 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.

When the wax is melted, bring the mint solution almost to boiling (put the glass cup with the mint water/borax in the microwave on High for 1 minute, or use a water bath on the stove top).

Remove the oils-beeswax mixture from the water bath. Slowly add mint water/borax to the mixture in the blender and whip.

Allow the lotion to cool completely. The consistency may seem a bit thin, but it will thicken as it cools. The lotion will be pale green in color. You may add the peppermint oil now if you wish.

Pour the lotion into a clean container with a lid. To use, massage a small amount into your skin.

Note: Mint water is made by boiling fresh or dried mint leaves in water and then letting the mixture cool. Strain off the mint leaves. I use 1-cup fresh mint (1/4 cup dried mint leaves) to 1-cup water.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Packaging: Plastic Bottle, Jar and Jug Definitions


Boston Round

Boston Round Plastic Bottles, like glass, come in a variety of sizes from ½ ounce to 16 ounce to fit your many applications. The Boston Round design is applicable in the chemical, food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and a broad variety of other industries. They can be used with numerous plastic closures including caps, pumps, sprayers, fine mist sprayers, discs tops, and even some metal caps. It is always best to first test out your product with the bottle and closure to assure compatibility. Make sure to remember to put on a label or have this attractive container silk screened with your unique brand.

Ovals Plastic

Oval Bottles are used in many different cosmetic, health and beauty aid applications.

Cosmo Round

Cosmo Rounds come in a variety of sizes, are made of HDPE and are great for sprays, lotions, cosmetics, household toiletries, pharmaceuticals, pet products and food. They will also work with a variety of other liquid and some dry applications. Always make sure to test the contents with the container and closure to make sure they are a good chemical match. Cosmo Rounds look very attractive on any shelf. However, without a unique label that makes your statement they are simply generic. And this bottle offers the ability to put a label on both the front and the back.

HDPE Cylinders

PVC Cylinders

Cylinder Bottles are used for most everything liquid. Just about every industry has an application for this basic container. You will also find a large selection of both HDPE and PVC types. HDPE and PVC are both excellent containers, with HDPE being the more economical choice. If you need more esthetics for your material, select the PVC container in either clear or white. In all sizes there are a variety of options in terms of color and neck finishes accommodating the many, many cap, pumps and other closures that will fit this container. We even stock a cylinder bottle with a handle! The cylinder bottle easily accommodates a wrap around label, to fit all of your products descriptive information.

F-Style Oblong

The F-Style is great for liquids in larger quantities that need to be poured. You will find the F-Style used for food products, like oils and shortening, chemicals of all kinds, various petroleum products, and many other bulk quantity liquid applications. These are easy to fill and store due to their square oblong size. These come in natural or white.

Sprayer Bottles

Sprayer bottles are easy to grip and easy to hold. They are excellent for many cleaning and janitorial / sanitation purposes with or without a sprayer attachment. These containers can also be used for household cleaning products, garden sprays, or even a convenient water sprayer at the beach. They come in 8 ounce up to 32 ounce sizes in both natural, white and clear. To complete your bottle select an appropriate sprayer or cap.

Modern Round

This timeless basic shape is designed to accommodate and protect your important label by providing a recessed panel area. We carry four different bottle sizes and you can select from natural, white and amber colors. Since we focus on the complete container, you will notice that we have Panel Label Dimensions available for every container, making it easy for you to pick out the right size.

Food Bottles Plastic Bottles for food are becoming increasingly popular. They offer see through clarity to show off your product. They are shatter resistant if dropped. Some of our “Decanter” bottles can be filled hot for various types of sauces. They come in both clear PET and PVC in sizes from 8 to 18 ounce. 

Twin Neck Do you have a need to dispense a measured amount of liquid? Well, now you can with Bottle Solutions™ These unique bottles have a large section for your main liquid that you can squeeze into a smaller section for easy measurement. There are, of course, two necks, but they accommodate the same cap or closure. However, you may want to use different cap colors to make sure your customer readily sees the difference. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to Carve Soap Into Shapes

I remember as a kid, the Avon Lady stopping by every once in awhile.  There was one time she stopped by and in her catalog there was this moldable soap product.  I remember getting some and having alot of fun with it. Now, this project is not anything like since there is the use of sharp objects we do not want anyone to get hurt.  But home could surely carve out some fun shapes for the next time the kids need to take a bath.

So if you would like to create some fun soap shapes for your kids to use in the bath then check out this article that appears on ehow - How to Carve Soap Into Shapes.  If your kids are old enough to help you out, then let them because they may want to take more baths.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deeply Hydrating Facial Serum

by Allison B. Kontur

You will need: 

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) Japanese Green Tea Extract 

Phase 1: In a double boiler over low heat, melt shea olein until liquid. (In warmer weather, you may opt to omit this step as the shea olein will remain liquid at warmer ambient temperatures). Remove from heat set aside.

Phase 2: In a separate glass or stainless steel container, combine rose hip oil, squalane & green tea extract until combined. 

Phase 3: Combine the melted shea olein with the blend from Phase 2 and combine thoroughly to incorporate all ingredients. Package as desired.

To use:  Pump a small amount of serum into clean hands. Rub palms together to warm mixture slightly and apply to skin in an upward motion from decollete to hairline.

Monday, July 27, 2009

What are Parabens?

If you have been reading the labels of your bath and body products, you maybe see some ingredients that include the word "paraben". And you are wondering what ia paraben is?  Right?  As you will read that parabens are a preservative in cosmetics. And there is some worry that parabens pose some health risk.  If you are concerned about using perservatives in your body products and worry about the parabens. On the other hand you do not like the inconvenience of storing your products in the fridge or not lasting that long.  There are  preservatives that are paraben free and those could subsituted instead.  If you would like to learn more about what a paraben is, then you should read on.  According to,

"Parabens are a group of chemical compounds which are widely used as preservatives, especially in cosmetics. In addition to being used in cosmetics, parabens are also utilized by the pharmaceutical industry, and they sometimes appear as food additives as well. Parabens have been a topic of some controversy, due to consumer concerns about their safety, which explains why you may find products voluntarily labeled as “paraben free,” using their ingredients as a selling point for concerned consumers.

These chemicals are esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid. Esters are defined as chemical compounds in which an acid molecule has bonded with an alcohol molecule, displacing a water molecule. Some parabens actually appear in nature, generated by plants as a way of defending themselves from fungal and bacterial invaders. The parabens used commercially are typically generated synthetically, ensuring that the products remain consistent, so that companies can be assured that they will work.

Typically, the concentration of parabens in cosmetics is very low, often less than 1%. A mixture of parabens may be used to create the best preservative effect, ensuring that molds, fungi, bacteria, and other unwanted visitors will not contaminate a product. It is also possible to use naturally derived preservatives, such as grape seed extract, but many of these substances have not been fully tested for efficacy, raising concerns about the safety and shelf life of products preserved with these substances.

Concentrations of parabens in other products, like foods and pharmaceuticals, are similarly quite low. As a general rule, companies use a minimal amount of preservatives, using laboratory testing to determine the best concentration.

Health concerns about parabens are primarily focused on their potential to act like estrogen compounds in the body. Substances which behave like estrogens are known as estrogenic compounds, and they do pose some health risks, especially when consumed in high volumes. Estrogens primarily impact the endocrine system, potentially creating an increased cancer risk. People who are concerned about parabens argue that their estrogenic traits make them too dangerous to use in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

However, there have been a number of studies on this issue, both from inside the cosmetics industry and outside of it. These studies have found that while parabens certainly do have estrogenic qualities, they are probably safe in very small amounts. People and companies who adopt a “best practices” approach may choose to stay away from parabens, as future risks may be identified, or they may turn out to bioaccummulate in the body."


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bath Jelly Recipe

Bath Jelly Recipe - by Amy Vollmer

1/2 cup melted transparent Melt & Pour base
2 cups water
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1/2 oz Germaben II
Fragrance oil
3 or 4 colorants
3 or 4 small containers

Pour envelope of gelatin into a bowl and set aside. Microwave 2 cups of water until boiling. Gently pour into the bowl of gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. In the meantime melt the M&P in the microwave. Add fragrance oil to the melted M&P. Slowly pour the soap into the gelatin and stir gently. When mixed thoroughly, pour into individual containers and color. Place uncovered containers in the refrigerator until firm.

Empty Playdoh containers work perfectly and bath jelly can be colored to match the lids! Kids have a blast with this jelly. They can scoop it out and toss into running water, paint the tub and themselves, glob onto a scrunchie or washcloth and even bathe with it! The possibilities are endless!

Blogger Note: I found this recipe that I wanted to share. I have a similiar recipe but mine calls for clear liquid soap instead of melted soap base. I do not know how this effects the overall appearance as in firmess of product. Also, this recipe calls for Germaben II (perservative), which I believe contains parabens, that mine does not include. Since I use another perservative for my lotions and creams I will consider adding it to my recipe.


Flexy Fast

Flexy Fast is a new verstile silicone product which allows you to make your own molds (for melt and pour soaps) at home.

In August, Soap Queen TV will be doing an episode on Flexy Fast.  Until then you can check out tips from the Soap Queen's blog on how to use this fantastic product  -

If you are interested in getting this product visit the kits page on Brambleberry's website @

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Watermelon Candle

Here is a really cute summertime candle to put on your table, especially for 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day celebrations.  This festive project I found on Peak Candle Supply Company's website.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Make a Sachet

According to the eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor, Sachets are fabric bags that are filled with potpourri and tied off with ribbons. They can be placed in clothing drawers, hung in closets or given as gifts. Fill them with potpourri you buy at the store or potpourri that you make yourself. 

The instructions in this article are for somone who know how to use a sewing machine. So, if you are not a sewer, you may want to consider purchasing some colorful organza bags from the craft store

How to Make a Sachet

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shea Butter Jasmine Lotion


1/4 cup apricot kernel oil
1 tsp. beeswax
1 tsp. shea butter
1 tsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup distilled water
1 tsp Aloe Vera Gel
1/2 tsp glycerin
5 drops jasmine fragrance oil


Melt the shea butter and then blend in the oils over low heat allow to cool. Combine the water, aloe vera gel, and glycerin into a bowl. Slowly drizzle in a small amount of the oil mixture and beat with a wire whisk. Continue to drizzle and beat until all the oil is blended into the water. Stir in five drops of jasmine fragrance. Pour into container.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Natural Lip Balm Recipe

This creamy lip balm recipe is a lot of fun to make! You can make just one kind, or you can experiment and create several different flavors. Lip balm also makes a great addition to any gift basket!

Ingredients Needed:

Beeswax: This can be found at local health stores, craft stores, or candle-making supply stores. It is available either in its natural golden color, or it is also available in a bleached white color. It can be purchased either in blocks that can be grated with a cheese grater to get smaller pieces that are easier to work with, or it can also be purchased as small pellets. For this recipe you will need one tablespoon.

Cocoa butter: This can be found at many health stores, or any other store that sells soap or lotion making supplies. You will need about one-half tablespoon for this recipe.

Sweet almond oil: This can be found at many grocery stores and health stores. You will need 4 teaspoons for this recipe.

Honey (optional): This gives your lip gloss a sweeter taste and smell. You can use up to one teaspoon for this recipe.

Vitamin E (optional): This can be found either as capsules in most health and grocery stores, or it can also be found as a liquid in many drug stores. You will need either one capsule, or 3-4 drops of liquid for this recipe. Besides being an antioxidant, Vitamin E is also a natural preservative and will help your lip balm last longer.

(Blogger note: I only know Vitamin E as an antioxident, not as a preservative. And I know of there is no natural preservative at this time.)

Essential oils: These not only give your lip balm its own unique scent and flavor, they also add the benefits of the essential oil you use to your lip balm creation. Some favorite essential oils to use are peppermint (with or without honey), birch or wintergreen (with honey—add a drop of vanilla for a "rootbeer" flavor) or one of the citrus oils (such as orange, lime, lemon, or grapefruit) along with the honey (one caution about the citrus oils—they are photosensitizing and can increase the risk of sunburned lips if this lip balm is worn while out in the sun). Because lip balm is worn on the lips and might end up in the mouth, make sure the essential oils you use comes from a source that can be trusted to produce pure oils without any chemical additives. You will need about 5-10 drops of essential oil for this recipe.


Pack grated beeswax or beeswax pellets into a Tablespoon size measuring spoon until it is packed level with the top, then dump the beeswax into a heat-proof measuring cup (such as a Pyrex™ brand measuring cup).

Pack cocoa butter into a one-half-tablespoon size measuring spoon until it is packed level with the top, then dump cocoa butter into the measuring cup with the beeswax.

Add 4 teaspoons of sweet almond oil to the beeswax and cocoa butter. If a sweeter lip gloss is desired, add up to 1 teaspoon of honey.

Place the measuring cup in a large frying pan that is filled with 1" of hot water.

Place the frying pan and measuring cup on the stove and turn the burner on low.
Stir the mixture in the measuring cup with a popsicle stick or bamboo skewer every couple of minutes until the wax is completely melted (about 15-20 minutes).

Turn off stove and carefully remove the measuring cup from the frying pan and place the measuring cup on a towel on a counter-top or table.

If desired, stir in the contents of 1 capsule of vitamin E (or 3-4 drops liquid vitamin E). Stir in 5-10 drops of your desired essential oil or blend.

Pour the mixture into lip balm dispensers, lip gloss containers, or any other small jar or container. This recipe will fill 4 or 5 containers. You may find it easier (and cleaner) to either use a small dropper to transfer the mixture into the small containers, or to use a small funnel to help pour the mixture into the small containers without spilling on the side.

Extra Ideas:

To make this lip balm into a softer, shinier lip gloss, try adding a teaspoon more sweet almond oil, and a teaspoon less beeswax (or experiment with your own proportions to find something you like).

Create fun labels for your lip balm creations using 2" x 4" labels. Set up your labels so that two labels fit side-by-side on each 2" x 4" label, then cut the label in half after printing so you have two labels that each measure 2" x 2". This size fits perfectly on our white lip balm dispensers.

For different natural lip gloss recipes, check out the book, Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions by Donna Maria!

Click here for more great recipe ideas!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adding Texture to Homemade Paper

Learn how to add texture to homemade paper.
From "Craft Lab"episode DCLB-107

Guest Heidi Reimer-Epp joins host Jennifer Perkins to show how various household objects are used in the process of adding texture to homemade paper.

Project designed by Heidi Reimer-Epp.

6 freshly-pulled sheets of cotton paper, 5" x 7"
5 pieces of colored yarn
2 dried roses
shadow box frame
9" x 12'" piece of netting
6" x 8" sheet of bubble wrap
medium gauge craft wire
craft pliers
pigmented pulp in pink, blue, violet and green
1/4 lb of abaca pulp
1/2 cup of dried larkspur petals.

Adding Texture to Homemade Paper

Laminating—Laminating is a versatile and interesting papermaking technique in which objects are layered between newly-pulled sheets of handmade paper. Because they are damp, the sheets bond together during pressing and drying to form a single, solid sheet of paper.

Using Feathers—On a newly-pulled sheet of paper, still on the couching pad, arrange a series of colorful feathers in a fan shape. Pull a second very thin sheet of paper and place on top. Press and dry the sheet. When dry, hang the paper in a sunlit window or in front of a lamp to reveal the feathers embedded within the sheet.

Using Yarn—Pull a sheet of handmade paper from the vat and couch it on the couching pad. Lay the colored yarn across the paper with the ends of the yarn hanging off the sides of the paper. Cover with a second sheet of newly-pulled paper. Press the sheet and dry by hanging on a clothesline or rack. When the paper is dry, use the ends of the yarn to connect several pieces to make a custom sized wall hanging.

Using Dried Roses—Pull a sheet of handmade paper and couch. Arrange two dried roses on the paper. Pull a second sheet and drape it over the roses, sealing them in between the two sheets. Carefully pull back some of the wet top sheet to reveal the roses, ensuring that some paper still overlaps the roses to hold them securely. Dry the sheet flat. You can direct a fan on the piece if it is slow to dry. When dry, frame the piece in a shadow box frame.

Tip: Be aware that dark red rose petals will bleed a bluish hue. This can be a very nice effect but may be a surprise if unexpected.

Embossing—One of the wonderful qualities of handmade paper is that it takes on the texture of the material upon which it is couched. The fibers are loosely bonded together, so either wet or dry embossing yields excellent results.

Here are several ideas for wet embossing.

Netting—A piece of netting makes a great textural pattern on which to couch a sheet of handmade paper. Place the netting on the kitchen cloths that we are using for couching. Couch the newly-pulled sheet of handmade paper directly on the netting. Press the piece, then hang it to dry. When the sheet is dry, carefully pull the netting off the paper, leaving a beautifully embossed sheet of paper.

Bubble Wrap—For an appealing circular pattern, emboss paper on a sheet of bubble wrap. Place the bubble wrap on the couching pad and couch a fresh sheet of paper directly on top. Press the wet paper into the bubble wrap for a more defined texture. Allow to air-dry flat. Peel the bubble wrap off when dry.

Wire—The possibilities are endless with custom-made embossed designs, created with craft wire. First, bend the wire into a design. Next, place the design on the couching pad and couch a fresh sheet of paper on top. Allow to air-dry flat or hang to dry, depending on the weight of the piece. When dry, peel the wire design from the back of the paper, to reveal a delicately embossed paper.

Layering—Layering combines pulp of contrasting colors to create unique collages and landscapes, all within a single sheet of paper. As with laminating, the damp layers of the newly formed sheets will become one as they bond during pressing and drying.

String Layering—Couch a sheet of color #1. Place two pieces of string on the sheet, and cover with a sheet of color #2. While the paper is still damp, pull back some of the string, revealing the first sheet of paper beneath. Alternatively, wait until the sheet is dry before pulling the threads. When damp, the pulp peels off in a wider band so try both methods for two different looks.

Scooping Away (Pulp Reduction)—Couch a sheet of paper in the first color. Scoop away some of the pulp. Place small pieces of pulp in a second color within the scooped area. Pull a sheet of paper in a third color and couch directly onto the base sheet. Press and dry. When the sheet is dry, the paper will show all three colors of pulp in an interesting pattern.

Adding Flowers—Flower petals add both color and texture to handmade paper. The possibilities are endless when working with flowers, since both fresh and dried petals work well. The basic technique for working with flowers in handmade paper is to soak and blend 1/4 pound of abaca pulp. Strain the pulp and place in a bucket. Pour 1/2 cup of dried flower petals onto the pulp and mix by hand using gentle, even strokes. Add a scoop of pulp to a vat filled with water. Pull a sheet of paper and couch on a prepared couching pad. Form a stack of sheets and press lightly for 5 minutes. Dry sheets using one of the methods described above.


Books by Heidi Reimer-Epp
300 Papermaking Recipesby Heidi Reimer-Epp and Mary Reimer

The Encyclopedia of Papermaking and Bookbindingby Heidi Reimer-Epp and Mary Reimer
ISBN: 0762412143
Running Press

Beginner's Guide to Papermakingby Heidi Reimer-Epp and Mary Reimer
ISBN: 0806993944
Sterling Publishing Co.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Aroma Beads Recipe

If you are looking for something different to scent your room, then here is a project for you...Aroma Beads! Here is step by step instructions from Peak Candle Supplies. And make sure to check out Peak Candles other candle and soap making projects.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Packaging: Glass Bottle Definitions


Just about anything goes in an AC glass container. Its wide mouth makes it ideal for scooping out viscous products such as mayonnaise or heavy sauces. You can also easily pour from these versatile containers products like honey or spaghetti sauce. The AC glass container is also ideal for sampling in industrial applications. Consider your needs and see if the AC will work. And, don’t forget an appropriate closure. To finish off your product you will need a distinguishing label. Or, you can even silk screen this bottle in small quantities.

Boston Round

Boston Round Glass Bottles come in a variety of colors, clear, amber and blue to fit your many applications. The Boston Round design is applicable in the chemical, food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and a broad variety of other industries. You can also use your creativity with this versatile glass bottle for most liquid and even some dry applications. Make sure to remember to put on a label or have this attractive container silk screened with your unique brand.


Economy jars are named as such because they give you a large amount and therefore are economical for your customer. Often used for mayonnaise, these wide mouth containers can be applied to many other food products. Or, if you like the design you can use this Economy container for a variety of non-food situations. Consider this for liquid, dry and viscous products. Remember, you’re not done until you have selected the proper closure and put on your company’s label. You can buy appropriate labels or silk screening from us in small quantities and at very reasonable prices.

French Square

French square bottles are clear and come in a variety of sizes. These have had many uses in the past, but how can they work for you? Perhaps a French Square container can be used for a food item, or bath crystals, or some type of pharmaceutical application? This also is a unique shape for chemical products that will make them stand out on the self. There are several different caps that work on these containers, but remember to make sure it is appropriate for your application. And, why hunt around for a label or silk screen. 


Hexagon jars are always an attractive eye catching six-sided container. These can be used for food, cosmetic, bath / beauty, candles, and many many more uses. When you fill this many sided jar your product will sparkle. We sell these with appropriately sized “lug” caps in a gold color. Both cap and bottle can be labeled.


What’s a “growler?” The term "Growler" comes from a European Pub term that described a wooden bucket used in transporting beer. This was used before the invention of bottles or cans. In the past children would be sent to the nearest brewpub by their father to have the "Growler" filled. Today’s modern "Growler" is a 64 oz. glass jug. Jugs also have many uses in many different food and industrial applications. Remember to select the appropriate cap / closure for your application. And, always ask us at Bottle Solutions™ how to apply your unique brand.

Wide Mouth Packer

Wide Mouth means easy to fill. These are often used for pharmaceutical products, where using an amber color container helps to keep out damaging UV rays. However, these can be used for many applications depending on your need. Wide Mouth Packers have a timeless design and with your unique brand labels or silk screen they can be a perfect solution to your packaging requirement.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Massage Butter Recipe


6 Tablespoons Shea Butter
1 Tbsp. Grape Seed Oil
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp. Apricot Kernel Oil
1/2 Tsp. Any Soap Safe Fragrance or Essential Oil


Mix all ingredients in a small pot and melt on the stove. Take the mixture off of the heat once the oils have just about melted. The oils will continue to melt themselves with the heat of the pan. Add scent and Mix well. Pour into a 4 oz. cosmetic jar (Item # 90162). The butter will be ready to use in approx. 2 hours.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Properties of Hazelnut Oil

From Aroma Web

Hazelnut Oil
Botanical Name: Corylus avellana
Aroma: Light. Nutty and Sweet.
Viscosity: Thin.
Absorption/Feel: Leaves a Slightly Oily Film on the Skin.
Color: Light Yellow.

Hazelnuts are sometimes mistakenly called Filberts. Although similar in appearance, Filberts are slightly longer in shape.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Color and Scents

While making your candle or glycerin soap project and were wondering what color should you use with your particular fragrance, here is list compiled by Peak Candle Supply. I found the list to be most helpful and I hope you do too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Homemade Green Cleaning Recipes

This post is for everyone that wants to make their own cleaning supplies, I decided to make a list of the items I have found. I have not used all of these yet. But I wanted to write them down to have them all in one place. So if you try these or have already tried any of these. 
Cleaning Wipes

Use a round plastic container, drill hole in lid about 1/2 inch, get an ex large roll of good paper towels cut in half to make two small rolls (leave plastic covering on while doing this, electric knife works best doing this)! Place one of the small rolls in plastic container save the other for later as a refill.

Cleaning solutions

General Surface Cleaning

1 1/2 cups white vinegar 
1 1/2 cups water Window and Glass Cleaning
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol 
2 1/2 cups water 
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Which ever one you pick or if you decided to use other half of paper towel roll in separate container. Pour one solution on top of the roll in the container. Place lid on container, allow paper towels to absorb the solution for 4 hours to overnight. Open storage container and take out the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and toss. Now thread the inside of the paper towel roll where the card board was through the hole in the lid and close lid. After awhile paper towels may dry out, if so add more of the solution and let sit overnight before using again! 

Homemade Veggie Wash

1 tablespoon lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water. Put mixture in spray bottle. Wash veggies and fruits all them to sit for a few minutes then wipe. You can also use this mixture to let kids help clean kitchen (play only)!

 Homemade Spray Cleaner

Mix in spray bottle 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup water use in kitchen and bathrooms. Allow to stand 10-15 min on shower walls before scrubbing then rinse! Furniture PolishMix in spray bottle 1 cup olive oil 1/2 cup lemon juice Shake well spray small amount onto cleaning cloth. Clean and sharpen Garbage DisposalAdd ice cubes into disposal along with lemon juice and turn it on and let it sharpen and clean away! 

No-Wax Floor Cleaner

1 cup vinegar to a gallon of water Wood Panel Cleaner
1/2 cup olive oil
 1/2 cup vinegar 
2 cups warm water 

Wash with a soft cloth and then dry.

Wood floor cleaner
Quarter cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to a Gallon of water 

To Remove Stickers. Moisten with vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then remove Spills on CarpetSoak up as much as the spill as you can. Spray mixture of half vinegar and half water. Let sit for 2 minutes then blot. Repeat if needed. 

For Persistent Stains on Carpet (after you try the above Carpet Cleaning)

Use a mixture of 1 teaspoon vinegar 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 1 cup warm water. Clean windowsSpray half vinegar and half water, wipe clean Glass Cleaner II

If you're not a big fan of the vinegar used in many glass cleaning recipes, use either flat or fresh club soda. Works FANTASTICALLY at getting your glass and windows sparkling clean, and it's a frugal option too. Just pour it into a spray bottle and use as you would any glass cleaner.

Clean Silver, Pewter, Copper, or Brass

Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in one cup of water. Add flour to create a past (1/4 cup or more) Apply the paste to the metal item and let stand for at least 15 min. Rinse with warm water and polish with soft cloth. 

Build up on faucets

Use mixture of one part salt to four parts vinegar.

Help prevent mildew on shower curtain

Spray with vinegar.

Clean Pipes and Clogs

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar 

Let mixture bubble and then rinse with warm water. Do not use on garbage disposals. 

Microwave Cleaner

1/2 cup vinegar 
1 cup water place in microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave till it starts to boil. Then scrub clean. 

Coffee and Tea Stains on China

Use mixture of vinegar and salt 

Clean Sponges

Soak in water with lemon juice and vinegar, microwave for 1 1/2 minute (keep wet or the will burn) 

Bleach Alternative

1/2 cup (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide in the rinse cycle. or 1/2 cup lemon juice in the rinse cycle. Hang clothes in sun, sun is a natural bleacher. 

Hand Sanitizer Gel

1/2 cup aloe vera gel 
1/4 cup 99% rubbing alcohol 
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fragrance oil, optional

Mix ingredients together.Pour into a pump-style bottle or a squeeze bottle.Use a quarter sized dollop and rub hands together. Wipe residue off of hands with a paper towel.

Garbage Can Deodorizing

1 teaspoon tea tree oil
1 cup baking soda 

Mix and work out all the lumps with a fork. Sprinkle in bottom of pail after liner is removed.

Daily Shower Cleaner 

In a 32 oz spray bottle, pour in 8 oz of rubbing alcohol, then top it off with water. After spray the walls and shower curtain. You won't have to rinse.

Cleaning your Coffee Maker with Vinegar

Pour a few cups of plain white vinegar into your coffeemaker (withOUT any coffee grounds) and let the machine run through as usual. Then run through with plain water to get entirely rid of any lingering vinegar. The acidic vinegar will work fantastically well to clean your coffeemaker from the inside out.

Antiseptic Spray with Tea Tree Oil

3 tablespoons liquid soap
20-30 drops tea tree oil 2 cups water

Mix in spray bottle and apply. Uses natural tea tree oil - a fantastic natural antiseptic!
Automatic Dishwasher Soap1/2 cup liquid Castile soap 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 3 drops tea tree extract (or oil) 1/4 cup white vinegar Store in squeeze bottle. Use 2 tablespoons per wash in a standard size dishwasher. Do not substitute conventional liquid soap for the Castile unless it is a 'low sudsing' soap. Regular soaps will produce too many suds and overflow the dishwasher. Dishwasher RiseUse 1 teaspoon corn starch in the rinse cycle. All comes out clean & crystal clear. Or just use white vinegar.

Oven cleaner
Ketchup, yeap plain old ketchup!

Make homemade cleaning products antibacterial, add a few drops of tea tree oil.

Stain Remover for Clothes

1/4 Cup Borax or Washing Soda
2 Cups Cold Water

Sponge on and let dry, or soak the fabric in Borax mixture before washing in soap and cold water. You can also use these products alone to remove stains: Plain White 

Vinegar Hydrogen Peroxide Fels Naptha Castile Soap

Try also a cream of tartar and water paste for stains. Rub on the spots, allow too dry, and wash as usual.

Laundry Softener

2 Cups White Vinegar 
2 Cups Baking Soda 
4 Cups Water 

Combine slowly and carefully over sink. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz. Pour into plastic bottle, cover, and shake. *Hint - Reuse your "Downy" bottle. Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or in a "Downy Ball".Or just use plain oh white vinegar!

Homemade air/fabric freshener spray 9 (Makes enough for a 16 oz bottle)
1 c. vinegar 
1 c. water
1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine
 1/2 tsp essential oil of your choice 
Place in a spray bottle and shake well. The glycerine emulsifies the E.O.  so it doesn’t sit on top of the water. You can double this recipe for a 32 oz bottle. Vinegar is suppose to be excellent for smoke odors too.

Laundry Detergent

Recipe 1

I have been using, 1/2 cup to 1 cup baking soda to wash our clothes...and I use white vinegar in downy ball to the line...that's great!! Use peroxide in the wash or mix a paste of baking soda and peroxide and let it set on the stain..this is a poormans oxyclean!

I will also list some other recipes though.

Recipe 2

2 gallons hot water, one bar soap grated (use Fals-Naptha, Ivory, Sunlight, Castile or Zote all bar soaps no heavy perfume bar soaps), 2 cups baking soda

Melt grated soap on saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium low heat, stir frequently until soap is melted. Then add the baking soda, stir well. Use 1/2 cup per full load or 1 cup for very soiled load.

Recipe 3

12 cups grated castile soap 
12 cups boiling water 
1 cup baking soda 
2 teaspoons of lavender essential oil or oil of your choice.

In a large 2 gallon stainless pan, mix soap and water. Simmer for 15 minutes, stir often. Add the rest of ingredients, cool and use 1 cup for each load. This also works well for general cleaning. Make sure to use the vinegar in the rinse with this one.

Fresh Carpet Mix

2 cups of baking soda 
1-2 drops of essential oil

Mix the baking soda and the essential oil drop/s together. Be sure that it is very well mixed. Since you will only be using one to two drops of essential oil, the mixture does not get much damper than regular baking soda. Simply sprinkle the mixture on your rugs and carpets. Let set for a few minutes and vacuum up the mixture. 

Again, remember I have not tried all of these, so I cannot say they all work well, leave me a comment and let me know. I do not take credit for these recipes, I got them all of the net! And I will keep you posted on what I find when I try the all! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Zesty Calendula CP Soap Recipe

Zesty Calendula cold process soap
From Miller’s Homemade Soaps

32 ounces soybean oil
32 ounces vegetable shortening (Crisco)
14 ounces olive oil
10 ounces coconut oil
1 ounce of stearic acid (optional)
28 ounces cold water12 ounces lye crystals
Temperatures were around 110 degrees.

Add at trace:
3/4 oz. Citronella EO
1/2 oz. Bergamot EO
1/4 oz. Rosewood EO
1 1/2 tsp. ground Ginger (dry spice)
2 T. freshly ground Coriander Seeds
1 cup Calendula Petals (pulverize a bit in the blender after measuring)
About an ounce of Vit. E. Oil (If you can get it to pour fast enough!)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Avocado Butter Properties

Avocado Butter properties from Oils by Nature

Avocado Butter(Persea Gratissima)

Persea meaning avocado or alligator pear; Gratissima mean very pleasing or agreeable.

Avocados will not ripen while still attached to the tree! If picked full grown, the fruit will ripen within 1-2 weeks at room temperature. The avocado flesh contains tannin which will become bitter when cooked.

Avocado Butter, created through a unique hydrogenation process, is a butter that is creamy in texture and has excellent moisturizing properties.

Noted for its spreadability and is easily penetrated into the skin, Avocado Butter also contains some natural sunscreen properties along with Vitamins A, B, G and E making it an all around great ingredient for a wide variety of products. A soft butter this is a great ingredient for creams and balms.

Common Uses of Avocado Butter

* Balms
* Soap
* Creams
* Lotions
* Hair pomades
* Massage creams

Benefits of Avocado Butter

* Moisturizes
* Good penetrating properties
* Excellent spreadability
* Some natural sunscreen ability
* Low comedogenicity

For full profile, please visit here.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

How to Determine How Much Essential Oil to Use

Are you confused on how much essential oil you need to use for a particular recipe?  Then I would recommend reading the article, How to Determine How Much Essential Oil to Use by DiDill, eHow Member.

In this article, the author gives good tips diluting your essential oils with a carrier oil and more. Pay particular attention to the tips and warnings section on how much should be actually used because it can be confusing trying to figure out how much to use, particularly because they may be sold in ounces, millimeters or by the pound. It's difficult because different writers use different measurements when describing formulas for blending Essential Oils. 

And it is also important to find out if certain essential oils should not be used for certain people.  That would be best to consult an aromatherapist or a good aromatherapy book on essential oils.

Friday, July 10, 2009


(Makes 16)

These are great soaps to make, firstly because they can be made for cheap and novel gifts, and secondly, even the kids can get involved.


350 g Lux Soap Flakes
5 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Place the soap flakes - such as Lux - into a large bowl, adding the water and the oil. Mix these ingredients with a spoon. Know knead the mixture with your hands until it resembles play dough. Divide the soap 'dough' into 16 portions by scooping out a rounded tablespoon of soap mixture for each portion, shaping each portion into a ball.

Place one tablespoon of each of the seeds and spices into 4 separate bowls or saucers. 

Quickly dip a soap ball in a small bowl of cold water then roll it between your hands to evenly wet the surface. Now drop the soap ball into the sesame bowl, dry your hands then spin the bowl around to coat the soap ball evenly with sesame seeds. Roll and press the seed-coated soap ball between your hands to 'fix' the seeds. Working with one seed or spice at a time, repeat this step to coat the remaining soap balls.

These soaps do not need to cure.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bumps & Bruises Balm Recipe

by Allison B. Kontur

As a runner, I have a tendency to fall and bump into things on a regular basis. Call me a klutz, but I maintain that things just get in my way! This balm paves the way for happier, bruise-free shins! The healing properties of arnica are well documented in helping to reduce inflammation and increasing blood flow to damaged tissue.

You will need:
4 oz Almond, Sweet Oil
4 oz Arnica Oil
1 oz Beeswax Pastilles - White, Unrefined
4 oz Witch Hazel Distillate
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) Borax Powder
5 ml (1 tsp) Germaben IIE (Preservative)
5 ml (1 tsp) Lavender, Bulgarian Essential Oil

Phase 1: Combine the almond oil and beeswax in a double boiler and heat gently until the beeswax has completely melted. Set Aside.

Phase 2: In a separate container, carefully combine the water and borax powder and heat until very hot, but not boiling.

Phase 3: Add arnica oil to Phase 1 and pour the entire mixture into a deep glass container with high walls (alternately you could use a blender reserved for formulating) and begin stirring slowly with an immersion (stick) blender.

Phase 4: While still mixing the oil phase, slowly add the water solution and mix on high until a medium thickness cream has formed. Allow to cool slightly before adding preservative. If you are using fragrance, it can be added at this time.

Phase 5: Pour cooled lotion into a sterilized container and allow to cool completely before applying your closure.Note: I store this balm in the refrigerator, although the preservative allows you to store it wherever you like. When chilled, the cooling effect of the witch hazel is even more pronounced and soothing on bumps and bruises!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tropical Fruit Smoothie Soap (Melt and Pour)

Submitted by: Dragonfly Princess

Yields about 12 bars


2lbs of melt and pour goats milk soap base
5 drops of Monkey Farts essential oil
Yellow candy color gel.


1. Melt down the soap base in a double boiler
2. Remove from heat
3. Once cooled for about 5 minutes, add scent and candy color gel
4. Pour into molds


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scales for Sale

I was reading some of the updated entries from the blogs I follow and I found on that Southern Soapers offers a variety of scales for creating your soap and other bath and body products.

First is a brand by the name of Escali. They come in nine lovely colors including black and chrome or another color that may match your kitchen, office or craft room. They have an 11 lb. capacity as well and are great for the beginner or veteran soap maker. Find them on Southern Soapers for only $29.95.

The other professional brands are available ranging from $40 to $150.

So for those who have taken a class from me (or anyone else for that matter) and are looking for a scale, check out Southern Soapers scales page of their website (

Aromatherapy in the Bath

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials. It is a also known is essential oils. oils are said to be highly concentrated substances extracted from flowers, leaves, stalks, fruits, and roots, and also distilled from resins. Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils sometimes in combination with other alternative medical practices and spiritual beliefs. It has a particularly Western currency and persuasion. It is widely used at home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of applications such as pain relief for women in labor pain, relieving pain. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the purported effects.

One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through the olfactory system. The other is the direct pharmacological effects. Nurses, doctors, massage therapists, osteopaths and trained aromatherapists are some of the people who practise aromatherapy.Essential oils, phytoncides and other natural VOCs work in different ways. At the scent level they activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. The aromatherapy bath happens to be a very effective method for relaxing tired, stressed bodies. Bathing in essential oils is an all-natural way to unblock congested pores and ease the symptoms of fatigue and muscle tension. Aromatic herbal baths have been referred to as "body and soul therapy" since they positively affects one's mood and general well-being.

Aromatic herbal bath oils Juste Milleu contain one semi-synthetic ingredient -an emulsifier Tween 80 utilized to improve the stability and bioavailability of the formulation. It also enhances both intensity and duration of aromatherapy effect. Bathing in essential oils is an all-natural way to unblock congested pores and ease the symptoms of fatigue and muscle tension. Using essential oils in the bath is as simple as adding 10 drops just before you enter the tub. The Turkish Bath has always been a very important part of the everyday life of Turkish men and women for many centuries. The bath ritual as we know today has its roots in the washing traditions of the Turks that they brought from Central Asia. Baths for women were also beauty salons where facial.

About the Author
Juliet Cohen writes articles for, aromatherapy and tips.


Monday, July 6, 2009

What is Polysorbate 20?

Polysorbate 20 (commercially also known as Tween 20) is a polysorbate surfactant whose stability and relative non-toxicity allows it to be used as a detergent and emulsifier in a number of domestic, scientific, and pharmacological applications. It is a polyoxyethylene derivative of sorbitan monolaurate, and is distinguished from the other members in the Tween range by the length of the polyoxyethylene chain and the fatty acid ester moiety. The commercial product contains a range of chemical species.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

How to Make Your Own Hand-Milled Soap

Another way to make soap is by making it by the handmilled method.  Handmilled soap, aka rebatching, is taking a premade bar of soap and melting it down and adding your favorite scents and coloring without having to deal with lye.

If you are interested in making your soap by this method, here are instructions on How to Make Your Own Hand-Milled Soap by Civita Dyer. As the author states It all begins with plain white bars of soap from the grocery store. I have been to Trader Joe's where they sell unscented white soap.  You will have to buy the palm oil chips online.  The author mentions scenting your soap with botanical fragrance oil.  Now I am not sure what she means by that.  I am purely guessing that she means essential oils.

You are probably wondering how many bars you will get from this recipe.  According to the author, it will depend on the size of  your molds.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Color with Confidence E-Class

Can't make it The Nova Studio for a class? Announcing their first official e-class! This is the same class that Lori Nova presented at the Soapmakers Guild annual conference in Palm Springs earlier this year. This e-class has 2 parts: a 13-page informational handout and an extensive power point presentation showing the 77 different colors that were tested.

If you are interested in ordering this e-class and would like more information visit,

For a limited time, this e-course is 50% off the original price of $39.00. That makes it $19.50. What a great deal, I am going to order this. I can't pass this by. Don't miss this opportunity before the price goes up.

Order Now! This offer is only good for the first 50 people. Let The Nova Studio know that you saw the announcement here.

PS. Just to let you know that if you order this e course, you have a limited time to download the materials. Make sure you check your email account and download it immediately or you can lose your materials!

8/7/09 - The minimum of 50 has been reached # the $19.50 price, it has gone back up to its regular price of $39.00.

Soy Candle Making

If you are interested in learning how to make your own soy candles, I found these video links to show you how. I hope these links will inspire you to take up a new craft. Have fun!

Friday, July 3, 2009

What are carrier oils?

If you have ever made your own perfumes, colognes or experimented with aromatherapy you may have run across the term Carrier Oils. But what are they?

Carrier Oils “carry” or dilute essential oils (concentrated liquids derived from flowers and plants) so they can be applied to the skin. They are commonly made from vegetables or nuts and include peanut, olive, almond, coconut, sesame, and grapeseed oils. Carrier oils don’t contain a concentrated aroma like essential oils and they don’t evaporate like them either. They can go rancid however, so if you are making something with carrier oils, make sure that you store it in a cool, dark place and throw it away after six months.

People with nut allergies can use sunflower or grapeseed oils since they are extracted from seeds.

Here is a simple formula to create your own bath oil:

2 oz of your favorite carrier oil (sweet almond, olive, grapeseed, etc.)

15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil

Blend the oils together and store in a dark-colored ja.

To use, add 2 tablespoons to bath water. Soak and enjoy!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Packaging Your Soaps

Once you've mastered how to make soap, you're going to need to know how to package those little buggers! Here are some tips, but by all means get creative and let your imagination fly. I do recommend looking for good buys in order to keep your costs down and so you don't have to compensate for it in your prices if you decide to get into marketing your soap.

Cured Soaps waiting to be wrapped: If your going to have to store your soaps for any length of time and especially if you've used costly essential or fragrance oils, your going to want to keep them in a covered container to help them hold their scent. Shoeboxes and tupperware containers work just fine for this. If the soaps haven't cured all the way and you shut them up in an airtight container, chances are they'll bead up and sweat, so make sure they're completely cured before you do this.

Handy things to have lying around cluttering up your already messy soap room:

* fabrics! such as calico or even burlap for a truly "rustic" look.

* washcloths! Keep your eyes peeled for "bargain" sales and stock up.

* Mugs! Great for pouring shaving soaps in or pop a bar in. Add a filler to the cup and place a bar of soap in the center and wrap with cellophane or tulle.

* Small brown paper bags

* Cello type bags in different styles

* Wood crates

* Soap dishes! Place one of your bars on top and wrap in clear plastic or shrink wrap.

* Fillers! Have on hand a variety such as raffia, mosses, styrofoam, anything you can think of.

* Baskets! You can never have too many baskets. Friends and co-workers are a good place to start building your collection, ; ).

* Paper! This depends entirely on what you want to use...some use rustic looking "old" paper, brown paper, marbled paper, tissue paper, any kind of paper you want. If you don't already have a program on your computer to add designs and logos, you can paint or draw on labels.

* Labels! Your going to want to have many different sizes and types: sticky labels, round labels, heavyweight card stock, tiny labels for lip balms, etc.

* Waxed paper

* Gift Wrap

* Muslin Bags: these are terrific! Not to mention you can use them to make some bath bags, etc.

* Embellishments: These add that special something to your packaging. Riobbons, yarns, cording, raffia, lace, etc.

* Containers: Baskets fall into this category too. Pick up interesting containers to use when giving special gifts. Need ideas? small wooden bowls, clay pots, tins, large sea shells, exotic glassware, you name it!

* Wrapping the soap. Wrapping your soap is something you'll learn how to do and what works best for you as you do it. Many people use a cigar type band that serves as a wrap and a label in one. To do this you would create a logo or border on your computer,fill it with your information, print it out onto paper you've selected to use, cut into long strips and wrap so that your info is face up on the soap. You can do the same thing with fabric. Some people use pinking shears to cut the fabric and tie it in an attractive bow around the soap and then use a sticky label with your information printed on it.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How to Make Paper

We've all heard it before: reduce, reuse, recycle. But when it comes to paper, recycling doesn't have to mean tossing those scraps into a bin and dragging it to the nearest recycling center. Instead, you can create your own functional (and artistic) paper from old newspapers, unwanted files and letters. Here's how to do it.


1. Make a frame for preparing the paper. Stretch a fiberglass screen - for example, a window screen - over a wooden frame (an old picture frames work well for this, or you can build your own) and staple it or nail it to the frame. The screen should be pulled as tightly as possible. Make sure to construct the frame large enough to hold the size of paper you wish to make.

2. Find paper to be recycled. Newspaper may be the easiest source to start with, but you can also use old print-outs, notes, phone books - just about any unwaxed paper product. Keep in mind, however, that the color of the papers you use and the amount of dark ink on them will affect the "grayness" of your creation.

3. Remove plastic, staples and other contaminants. Especially if you're using junk mail, your paper scraps are likely to contain plastic from envelope windows. Try to remove such impurities as thoroughly as possible.

4. Soak the paper in water. You may be able to get away with skipping this step, particularly if you use a blender to pulverize the paper, but you'll probably have better luck if you presoak the paper for a day or two.

5. Blend the paper. Rip the paper into tiny bits, and place it all into a blender until it's about half full. Fill the blender with warm water. Run the blender on "slow" at first, then increase the speed until the pulp looks smooth and well-blended - approximately 30 to 40 seconds - just until there are no flakes of paper remaining. Alternately, you can grind up the paper in small batches using a mortar and pestle.

6. Fill your basin about halfway with water. The basin should be a little wider and longer than your frame and approximately the same shape.

7. Add paper paste (pulp) to water in basin and stir to make a homogeneous mixture. How much you add will depend on personal preference and the size of the paper you're making. The amount of pulp you add to the water will determine the thickness of the paper, and while you want a dense suspension of pulp to fully cover your screen in the next steps, you don't need to make the whole tub into sludge. Experiment a bit.

8. Remove any large clumps of paper. Try to pick out any clumps; the smoother and finer your mixture, the more uniform your end product will be.

9. Make your paper ink-ready (optional). If the paper is going to be used for stationery, stir 2 teaspoons of liquid starch into the pulp mix. The starch helps prevent ink from soaking into the paper fibers.

10. Immerse the frame in the mixture. Place your wooden frame into the pulp, screen-side down, then level it while it is submerged. Lightly move it side-to-side until the pulp on top of the screen lies fairly uniformly flat.

11. Remove frame from basin and resolve any thickness problems. Slowly lift the frame up until it is above the water. Drip-drain it over the basin. Wait until most of the water has drained from the pulp, and you'll see the beginnings of a new piece of paper. If the paper is very thick, remove some of the pulp from the top. If it is too thin, add some more pulp and stir the mixture again.

12. Give it the pull. After the mold stops dripping (or nearly so), gently place a piece of fabric (felt or flannel, preferably) or a piece of Formica (smooth-side down) in the frame on top of the "paper". Very gently press down to squeeze out excess water. Use a sponge to press out as much water as possible from the other side of the screen, and periodically wring out the sponge.

13. Remove the paper from the frame. Gently lift the fabric or Formica out of the frame. The wet sheet of paper should remain on the fabric. If it sticks to the screen, you may have pulled too fast or not pressed out enough water. You can gently press out any bubbles and loose edges at this point.

14. Set the paper out to dry. Take the pieces of fabric and Formica with the paper on them and arrange them to dry on a flat surface. Alternatively, you can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer on the low setting.

15. Repeat the above steps to make additional sheets. Continue adding pulp and water to the basin as needed.

16. Peel the paper off the fabric or Formica. Wait until the sheets of paper are thoroughly dried; then gently peel.


For a more artistic flair, you can also incorporate plant materials into your paper, such as shreds of flower petals, leaves, or green grass. The resulting beautiful effects will motivate you to make more - no two pieces are ever the same.

You can add dryer lint to your slurry, but do not make your paper entirely from lint, as it will not have enough body on its own.

Have a craft-oriented friend help you, especially if you find yourself to be craft-challenged.

If you have trouble pulling the paper out of the frame, you may gently turn the frame upside down and try to pull it off the fabric or Formica.

When drying the paper, you may wish to try hanging the sheets (with fabric or Formica still attached) on a clothesline or standing them up vertically. It's best to let the sheets dry a little first; otherwise they may be too fragile.

You can press a drying sheet of paper by placing another piece of fabric or Formica on top of it and gently pressing. This will make the resulting paper smoother and thinner. Leave the second piece there as it dries.

If you don't add starch, the paper will be highly absorbent, and your ink will likely bleed quite easily. If this occurs, briefly soak the dried paper in a mix of water and gelatin and re-dry.

The resulting paper will most likely be opaque on one side and bright on the other. Depending on your intended use, either side may be suitable, but the bright side will probably be better for writing.

Nearly any fine screen or sieve with holes about 1 mm can be substituted for the window screen.You can use coffee cans, embroidery frames, or other objects to build frames. Try experimenting to get different sizes and shapes of paper.

You can make getting the paper off the screen faster and easier by making a deckle. It should be identical to the frame the screen is attached to. Just before step 10, place the deckle on top of the screen and dip it into the pulp deckle-side-up. After you lift it out of the pulp, lift the deckle, place your fabric over the paper, turn it over, and remove the screen. Since the paper may still be sodden, you'll need to be careful not to poke any holes or stretch it.

You can make your paper a little more dense by using an iron. While it's still very damp, place it between two pieces of cloth. Iron on low, no steam, pressing down and always moving. Check it frequently, since it can brown while still damp! Note the heat may cause things like flower petals to lose their pigment or turn brown.

If you want to make colored construction paper,use paper with the least amount of dark ink, use a lot of "pulp" and use liquid food coloring.

When you get good at making paper, try making plantable bookmarks. They're a great gift for anyone who loves to garden, or read about gardening. Mix in seeds with the pulp. Choose hardy plants that are fairly easy to sprout, and choose fairly small seeds. Then, make paper as outlined above. Air dry the finished paper quickly so the seeds don't sprout. Cut it into bookmark shapes. You can trace around cookie cutters to get decorative shapes, if you wish. When you're done reading, plant the whole bookmark and keep it moist until the seeds sprout. If the seeds are for flowers, you could mix in dried flowers or petals with the paper for decoration.

You can even use a wire hanger, forming it to any shape you like, and stretching an old pair of pantyhose over it to create the screen.