When starting this blog, I had originally planned to write about all my passions. Somehow, it turned out to focus on my travel addiction only. Being ill and bored the last couple of days, I decided it was finally time to change it!
So welcome to the first post in the category “Franziska Fabricates”. Yup, that’s right, I like crafting. All kinds of it. I find enormous satisfaction in creating something with my own hands. In Germany, I actually own a sewing machine- but transporting that from country to country would be quite complicated, right?
Hence, I usually make do with the good old knitting or crotching, but there are only so many scarfs, gloves and animals you can give away as presents, until everybody around you has one.
This weekend, I was ill. Those who know me can most probably confirm that I cannot sit still for even one day, let alone several days in a row. After having finished all uni work, catching up with all YouTube channels I follow and binge-reading two books, it was time for an alternative DIY project, different from knitting. In the following, I am sharing the two projects with you, as they are 1) a great & quick idea for a self-made present, 2) pretty easy and not too expensive and 3) ideal for a rainy day where you just don’t want to leave the warmth or if you’re a bored individual plagued by the flu 🙂 Enjoy!
- Handmade Candles
I had never done this before, but I figured some candles would be a nice decorati0n for my bedroom, so I went for it. Actually, this turned out to be incredibly easy! If you are ever in need of a last-minute present, that’s the one to go for! The only thing that really takes time is waiting until the wax is turns completely hard again.
What you need:
- Glass Votives (one per candle you want to make, obviously)
- Wax (I used Soy wax. For two small votives, it required around 200g of wax).
- Fragrance of your choice (I used vanilla)
- A microwaveable bowl
- Lolipopp sticks
- Heat the wax for about 2-3 minutes in a microwave until it is melted completely. Alternatively, you may use a double boiler.
- Once the wax is melted, stir in as much of the fragance as you like. (Careful, they tend to be quite strong)
- Dip the end of the wick into the molted wax, and press it into the base of the votive until it is fixed there. Otherwise, the wick will just float around loosely once you pour in the wax, and you won’t get a proper candle.
- Fill up the votive with wax.
- Make a hole into the lolipopp stick.
- Pull the top of the wick through the whole in order to make sure the wick is straight while the wax is setting.
- Allow the wax to set.
- Once it’s set, remove the stick and trim the wick.
- Allow to cure completely for at least 24 hours before lightening it (you can still hand it over as a present before- it’ll be considerably hard quite quickly, just not perfectly).
Done! Pretty easy, right? The entire process took me maybe 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for impatient people & or those who are in a rush 🙂
However, because I had the entire day to do NOTHING, I carried out a second project:
2. DIY Soap
I remember doing that as a child, with loads of fancy leaves from roses and other flowers. Unfortunately, the stores in my area didn’t have any dried flowers (and I obviously hadn’t prepared for the unlikely case that I would decide to make soap), so I had to make do without any decorative ingredients. I still think my creations turned out quite nicely, so here we go:
What you need:
- Soap Base (I used 180g for 4 soaps)
- Soap Dye
- A scent of your choice (I took rose, because the store only had either that or lavender, and I cannot stand the latter)
- Microwaveable bowl
- Microwave the soap base for 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, you may use a double boiler
- As soon as it’s completely melted and use a low heat in order to avoid burning it.
- Mix in as much of your scent as you like. Again, a little warning: The scent is STRONG!
- Mix in as much of the dye as you like. Stir until all spots are dissolved. That may take a while as they keep popping up on the surface. Also, the soap base sets quite quickly, preventing the dye from dissolving, so make sure to heat it again for 10-20 seconds when you think this is the case. Naturally, the more dye you use, the darker the colour of your soap gets. I started off using only very little dye, and then increased it for the second batch of soaps I was making in order to get things a bit more colourful 🙂
- Pour into the mould and wait for it to dry. That only takes around 2 hours, so it’s a little quicker than the candles.
Again, they are really fast to make! And everybody can use soap, right? So it’s a perfect little present, especially since you can change things up and use different scents and colours to adapt it to personal preferences.
To make them a bit more creative:
- Add dried flowers, such as roses, lavender or mint leaves (ideally according to the scent you used 🙂 )
- Don’t stir in the dye completely, so you get some nice darker streams and dots in your soap.
Now, I have a bedroom smelling of vanilla and a bathroom smelling like roses- what more do I need? 🙂
I love how crafting makes you feel productive even though you actually weren’t doing anything useful at all (well, at least nothing contributing to reach any goals, I guess you get what I mean). Also, I always feel that handmade items are just such great present- it shows people how much you really appreciate them because it proves that you are willing to invest more into them than just money- namely time, effort, love and creativity.
If you’d like me to provide more content related to DIY, let me know! I had really fun making these things, and I would be more than happy to do more 🙂