DIY Body Lotion

After failing twice, I finally have succeeded in making body lotion! It is based on Karen Gilbert’s vetiver and vanilla body lotion, except that it is unfragranced and the macadamia nut oil is replaced by sweet almond oil. The consistency is just perfect and the lotion  has just the light scent of its ingredients. The perfect Christmas gift for my mum!

By the way, the first times I failed at mixing temperatures and using the wrong emulsifier. For the successful lotion, I used glyceryl stearate.

DIY Cocoa and Shea Body Butter

My Dad uses The Body Shop’s Body Butters for dry skin a lot. As it is hard to find a Christmas gift for him, I have improvised an all natural, fragrance-free body butter recipe for him. Maybe, he even likes it.

Ingredients for 200ml:

20g berry wax

75g cocoa butter

85g shea butter

15ml sweet almond oil

10ml vitamin E

Melt together the wax and the butters in a water bath, let cool for five minutes outside the water bath, then add the oil and the vitamin E while the mixture is still liquid. Pour into an airtight container, close the lid and let harden.

Enjoy!

The Soap Bubble

I needed a new soap dish for my bathroom and wanted something more sustainable than a cheap plastic item. The most obvious solution might have been to buy a wooden or luffa soap dish, but that would have been too easy. Why not knit one?

My first idea was to knit a sphere from stainless steel wire, which turned out to be a bad idea due to a complete lack of elasticity. Furthermore, the wire I had chosen proved to be too thick. My next attempt was to exchange the wire by grey ITO Tetsu, a silk and stainless steel laceweight yarn. It was knittable, but still not elastic. Sadly, it did not want to keep its spherical shape, so I reinforced it with the stainless steel wire from my first try. Well, here it is, a knitted soap dish:

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An Industrial Lampshade for my Studio

I am not very proud that the realisation of this rather simple lampshade took me 18 months. I found my inspiration on Pinterest, bought the material and did not work on it for quite a while. However, it is finished now and looks really good.

I followed the instructions pretty roughly and did not add any colour or sheet metal. It was really easy to form the steel hanger strap by hand, so the main work consisted of screwing it all together. Nonetheless, it was finished within about two hours. It only lacks a beautiful light bulb. I will fix that next time I need something bigger from the hardware store.

Funfact: I took the picture in front of the few white walls in this room. The other ones are painted deep purple as I cannot find inspiration in bright, friendly spaces.

DIY Toothpaste!

Now that I haven’t changed this recipe for half a year, I think it is ready for publishing. Sadly, my toothpaste is not a real beauty, but it works perfectly. And you can make it free of mint, which is the very best part in my opinion.

You need:

50g sodium bicarbonate

1 tsp xylitol

1 tsp fine sea salt

liquid coconut oil

15-20 drops essential oil of your choice

Mix the dry ingredients together and add just enough coconut oil (about 2 tbsp) to make a smooth paste. Flavour with essential oil and use! Store in a mason jar or a sealable container of your choice.

It tends to be quite liquid in summer, but it works anyway. You may want to experiment with different flavours. I’ve tried mandarin, cinnamon and a mix of blood orange and lemongrass already and could not tell which of them I like most. Enjoy!

Workbench inspired sideboard

When my boyfriend and me moved into our new apartment, we decided to get rid of most of our old furniture. This was a blend of teen bedroom furniture, cheap provisional solutions and huge closets we could not find a wall for. In the end we sold more than half of the furniture we owned.

As we now live in a quite rustic, yet bright apartment, we decided to give it an industrial touch. To make it look authentically and with the intention to buy the least amount of new furniture possible, we knew from the start we had to accept a lot of boxes in our living room until we had found or built the perfect interior. We ended up with a bed and a bookshelf made of pipes, a second hand solid wood cupboard, table and chairs, a second hand steel drawer cabinet, a DIY TV cabinet on huge wheels, a DIY solid wood closet and a more or less DIY kitchen based on Ikea’s Metod. The only thing missing was a sideboard for our living room.

For aesthetic reasons, the sideboard actually should be an old workbench that had been used visibly for many a decade. Sadly, after months of not finding anything suitable at a reasonable price, we gave up on that idea. We obviously were not the only people looking for old workshop equipment. We then collected the main features, a possible DIY version should have. These were a thick solid wood worktop, some aged steel front surface and an overall heavy-duty design.

As we already had built our Metod based kitchen, we knew that using the Ikea steel legs, its design was quite durable. A thick solid wood countertop from a nearby home improvement store would make a perfect worktop. The most challenging feature was the aged steel front. In the end we bought new tailored carbon steel sheet metal, artificially aged its surface with salt and vinegar, stopped the process after a while with linseed oil and glued it to the doors with adhesive bond. To emphasize the industrial design, we bought three heavily used steel storage boxes on eBay and put them into the centre shelf. I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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