Category: DIY

The Science of Soap Making: How to Craft Custom Bars at Home

Soap has been used since the Ancient Middle East times and there have been different ways in which it’s been made over the years. It wasn’t until around the 15th century that soap became a common household item thanks to widespread manufacturing, and now it’s a massive industry that creates around $38 billion per year.

There are plenty of soaps available, too, with some being more “luxurious” and costing more than $10 per bar while others are still cheap at around $1. Then, there are people who prefer to make their own soap. It might sound a little intimidating to make your own, but it’s actually easier than you think. If you’ve been wondering how to craft your own custom bars at home, here is all you need to know about the science of soap making through the several different methods available.

For starters, you’ll need some common equipment for most methods of soap making. This includes a digital scale, spoons/spatulas, molds, containers (stainless steel is preferred), and a thermometer.

Cold Process

Cold process soap making is one of the most popular methods, and it’s one that requires lye. You should know that when handling lye, you need a lot of safety equipment so that you don’t damage your skin and eyes. With that said, make sure that you’re handling lye with gloves while wearing long sleeves and goggles. From there, you’ll want to gather your oils which include shea butter and olive oil.

Once you have the lye and water weighed out and ready to go, slowly pour the lye into the water. Try not to breathe in too deeply as there will be a lot of fumes. Stir the mixture until the lye has dissolved. Let the mixture cool, which can take around 60 minutes. During the cooling process, melt your oils until they reach 100 degrees.

The lye mixture can then be added to the oils, then stirred until your soap has a thick batter-like consistency. By this point, you should have a mold prepared to pour into. After pouring, cover the mold with both paper and a towel, allowing it to cool for 48 hours. Once your soap is cut into bars, you’ll still need to let it sit in the open air for about a month before it’s ready to use.

Hot Process

There really isn’t too much of a difference between the cold process. The main difference is that instead of melting your oils in a pan, you do so in a Crockpot or other slow cooker. This creates a better overall mixture, and the process of adding the lye and stirring the mixture can take up to two hours. The fragrances are added after the soap has gelled, and it doesn’t take several weeks for the soap to be ready to use.

Instead, you can end up using hot process soap on the same day in the right situation. Once the soap is hardened, it’s ready to use, but you might still want to wait. Giving the soap four to seven days of sitting out allows it to harden more and will create a longer-lasting bar. Hot process is actually the preferred method for those that make their own soap, especially because the scents tend to last longer, too.

Melt and Pour

If you want to switch things up a bit, the melt-and-pour method is a great way to save a lot of time and space. First, you’ll want to measure the amount of fragrance oil that you’ll be using in a small glass (and only glass) container. Then, take out your soap base (which is usually available in about two-pound blocks) and cut them into small cubes of the same size.

Add the cubes into a pitcher until you hit 16 ounces, while your fragrance should be a half-ounce. Instead of a slow cooker or pot to melt everything, you just need to put the soap base in the microwave for one minute at first. Stir the mixture and continue to heat for 20 seconds at a time until the soap base is completely melted.

Next, you’ll want to add a few drops of dye if you want to change the color of the soap, stirring it in and heating it for 10 seconds at a time if needed. Then, add your fragrance and continue to stir well. Pour your soap mixture into the molds then spray with rubbing alcohol to allow the soap to harden faster. After about 24 hours, your soap will be hardened and should be ready for use, though you may want to place the soap into the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes at the end for extra hardening.


The final soap making method we’ll look at is rebatching, which takes any failed previous attempts and corrects them. Cut down the soap that you previously made and place it into a slow cooker. Once melted, continue to stir and add in fragrance oil and add a small amount of dye (or even cocoa powder) for color.

Then, place the soap into a mold and allow it to cool for around 24 hours. Like melt and pour, adding it to the fridge at the end speeds up the process. It’s a simple way to fix any previous mistakes.

10 DIY Projects to Transform Your Kitchen

Undergoing a DIY project can be a lot of fun, and there are certain parts of the house where we tend to focus more of our creative energy. Bedrooms and living rooms get most of the love, but there are a lot of great ways you can transform your kitchen through the power of DIY. From the sink to how you display your spices and seasonings, we have plenty of projects that you can do in your home without breaking the bank. Here are 10 project ideas to get you started.

Custom Backsplash

In between your sink (or countertop) and the wall is the splashback, which prevents moisture from getting into your walls. While most backsplashes are pretty bland and worry more about function over fashion, don’t be afraid to jazz things up a bit. Even something as simple as a vinyl adhesive (including one that looks like bricks) can really liven up the kitchen as soon as you walk in. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can paint the backsplash or create your own using glass or wood.

Cabinets Done Cheap

Among the first projects for any kitchen renovation is replacing the cabinets. However, that can be expensive and might require the assistance of a professional to ensure they’re even and stay in place. Instead, try to focus on adjusting the ones that you have. One project that you can do is to sand down the cabinets and add a stain to change things up. Also, you can paint your cabinets with a color that really pops.

Counter Measures

We don’t really think about it at first, but countertops can really make or break the entire aesthetic of your kitchen. It might not be the easiest project since you don’t want to replace them yourself, but there are plenty of epoxies that can easily be applied for a complete transformation.

Light It Up

Lighting can really set the mood for any room, and the kitchen is no exception. Feel free to experiment with the lighting depending on how you want to theme your kitchen. If you want a more rustic look, you can place a sifter or mason jar around the bulbs, while large globe pendants can make things feel more luxurious.

Visiting the Island

Not everybody has an island in their kitchen, but if you’re one of the lucky ones who do, then feel free to mix things up a bit. There are a lot of ways you can transform your kitchen with the island from adding new chairs that make it look like you’re opening a rustic burger restaurant to repainting it completely. Some have even upcycled old pieces of furniture (like doors or office desks, transforming them into beautiful islands.

Stock the Shelves

It can be difficult to come up with ways to create more space in the kitchen (and we’ll talk more about that later, too), and shelving can help tremendously. Whether you want to buy some small shelves or create your own, they can help to clear up some cabinet space in a snap. Most people who add shelves to their kitchen tend to place their spices and cookbooks on them so that they’re easily accessible.

Open the Window

Windows can be a bit of an afterthought for kitchen decoration, and most of us opt for bland curtains that can sort of get in the way. To really spruce things up in the kitchen, though, try some treatments like shades that let a little bit of light in (woven shades), or even ditch the curtains altogether and add a window film that can help eliminate some of the glare from the sun while also helping the kitchen to feel wide open.

Chalk Talk

Have you ever wanted your kitchen to feel a bit like a restaurant? A lot of smaller restaurants will have a chalkboard waiting right outside of the entrance with the day’s specials while others will have an entire chalk wall behind the bar. If you want to go the latter route, it’s easier than you think! Apply a coat of paint that allows you to write on it with chalk, and you can let the family know what’s for dinner every day!

Hanging Around

Storage is everything when it comes to a kitchen, and a lot of us, unfortunately, don’t have enough space, especially for all of the pots and pans. With that said, you might want to look into creating racks where you can hang your pots and pans. Hanging them above the island is a great way to use up some empty space and clear out a lot of room in your cupboards and drawers while looking like a professional kitchen.

Know New Knobs

Sometimes the biggest changes can be among the smallest. That even includes the knobs that are used on your cabinets and drawers. If you’re satisfied with the overall look of your kitchen but want to make a minor adjustment, then look no further than the knobs. Of course, there are some that are available at the store, but you can also make your own. Some have even taken to converting some of their children’s small art projects into knobs so that they have an entirely new life.

5 Best DIY Home Decor Ideas that are Budget-Friendly

Are you tired of looking at the same old decor in your home but don’t want to break the bank to spruce it up? Fortunately, there are many budget-friendly DIY home decor ideas that can give your home a fresh look without spending a lot. The best part? These DIY projects are easy to do and can even be completed in a weekend!

Here are 5 Best DIY Home Decor Ideas that are Budget-Friendly:

1. Low-Cost Wall Art

Adding art to your walls can be an expensive game. Instead, opt for DIY Wall Art. A gallery wall is an ideal way to showcase different pieces of art and personalize your home. Head to a thrift store or discount retailer and seek out frames and pieces of all shapes and sizes. Arrange them in a fun and creative way that feels true to your personal style.

If you want to achieve a more unique wall art look, try crafting a statement mirror or some hanging planters. A statement mirror can be as simple as adding a bold frame or painting the existing mirror in a fun color. Meanwhile, hanging planters can be crafted easily using recycled or thrift store items such as old light fixtures or teacups.

2. Revamped Furniture

Updating your furniture doesn’t always require replacing it. Instead, try painting the furniture with fresh and bright colors. You can paint an old chair or table to give it a modern twist. Another option is to reupholster your furniture piece with the fabric of your choice. If upholstering as an idea scares you, start small with just the seat of a dining chair or the cushion on an ottoman or stool. Adding decorative knobs or pulls to cabinet doors and drawer fronts can also change up the look and feel of a room. Replacing hardware is an affordable and easy transformation to the room.

3. Unique Textile Accents

Emphasize your living space with fun and bold textiles that can add pops of color and pattern. Creating your own pillow covers is an inexpensive way to change up a room without much effort. Utilize scrap fabrics or old clothing as material or invest in discounted fabrics at a local store. If you’re not a seamstress, try no-sew curtains from a drop cloth or even a fun shower curtain. Macrame wall hangings and area rugs can also add fun texture and interest to a room’s decor.

4. Creative Storage Solutions

If you need more storage in your home, then build it yourself! It’s a fun way to create cubby or shelf that fits your space perfectly. Try making your own rustic bookshelf using recycled materials such as an old wooden pallet or wooden crates. You can also build built-in wall storage, which provides storage for a small space and the opportunity to display meaningful decor items. Decorative baskets are also a great way to add color while storing items such as blankets. Lastly, use hanging mason jars, which can provide storage for small items and can be used throughout the home.

5. Decorative Upgrades

If you don’t want to commit to painting an entire wall, try painting an accent wall in a fun and bold color. If your lighting needs to be updated, creating your own DIY light fixtures is an adventurous project to tackle. A chandelier can add glamour while a simple drum shade can add sophistication. Decorating a shelf is another simple and fun DIY project that is highly customizable to your taste. Lastly, a DIY chalkboard or corkboard is a great way to write down notes, quotes, or goals as well as to keep mail organized.

These DIY projects prioritize budget and often include creative recycling and upcycling of everyday items to create amazing design solutions. Instead of thinking that you need to purchase expensive decor items to transform your home, turn to these DIY ideas for inspiration and guidance for a wallet-friendly transition.

5 Household Necessities You Can Easily Make Yourself!

Inflation and the threats of an economic slowdown are making us question all our purchase decisions. Efficiently managing your budget is about choices and priorities. One way to continue to prioritize your Starbucks Cold Foam is to replace everyday household necessities with ones you can make for pennies at home, often with common ingredients you’ve already got stored under the cabinet. You’ll soon discover that a few everyday items like vinegar, baking soda, and borax are the primary ingredients of many household items you can make yourself.

Even if you weren’t a chemistry wiz in high school, you can give these items a shot at getting the job done and saving you some pocket change.

Clothing stain and odor stripper

Toss those pricey stain removers after you try this fantastic concoction. Parents of teenagers swear by this brew, which eliminates those stinky hormonal odors that seem to be permanently embedded in the underarms of adolescents. Put the noxious garments in a sink with a stopper. Generously sprinkle with baking soda. Add vinegar liberally. Watch it bubble. Add warm water and a touch of Dawn if you’d like. Let it soak for an hour or two, then drain away and rinse before dropping it in the wash. The sweaty odors and stains will disappear.

Weed Killer

Are you tired of breaking your back trying to combat those pesky weeds yet don’t want to destroy your backyard ecosystem with toxic (and expensive) weedkillers? The solution once again is vinegar. You can use straight vinegar as a weed killer. When you can’t get out the roots of a weed, spray some straight vinegar on it and watch it effectively act as a weed killer. The weeds don’t stand a chance.

Glass Cleaner

Vinegar makes an appearance again in glass cleaners. In this instance, just a little dab will do it. Add a tablespoon to ½ cup rubbing alcohol and 2-1/2 cups of water. Mix them together in a spray bottle and apply it as you would a regular glass cleaner.

All-purpose Cleaner

Guess what? Vinegar plays the starring role in this category as well. Just mix equal parts vinegar and water and add it to a spray bottle. When you need to clean up a mess, this handy all-purpose cleaner can be used on surfaces all around your home as needed.

Carpet Freshener

Dump the pricey powdered carpet fresheners for this recipe that you can store in a jar until needed. Mix 2 cups of baking soda with 1 cup of borax and a couple of teaspoons of grated lemon zest. Stir together, and let it sit until the moisture evaporates. Then store in a mason jar. When your carpets or rugs need treatment, sprinkle the citrus carpet freshener on, wait a few minutes to let the dirt and odors get absorbed, then vacuum.

Don’t be afraid to test out these home necessity replacements. Use the ones that best fit your family’s needs, and once you get the hang of it, look for more essentials you can replace with simple DIY versions. Chances are, at least one of your items will contain vinegar!

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