Grow and Make Do It Yourself Blog

Crafting Kits for Every Occassion

  • Tutorial: DIY French Pleat Soap Wrapper

    By Ananda Floyd |

    Instead of tossing your homemade soap into an old Tupperware, store and gift your soap in cute paper wrappers.  It makes each bar into a functional work of art and it is very easy!

    Thinner paper is the easiest to fold neat creases in, such as large origami paper or tissue paper, particularly with larger bars of soap. However, printer paper also works fine and can quickly be made cute with some drawings or other decoration, which is what we did for this tutorial.

    The quickest way to make cute paper is to make a repeating pattern of quick sketches.  We made flowers, leaves and circles for one sheet and triangles, rectangles and circles for the other.  Even a pattern of randomly placed ¼ inch lines looks great, so just go for it and don't worry about making it perfect.

    PaperPatternPaperPattern2

    It's a good idea to wrap your soaps in plastic wrap to protect the bars from moisture before you use them.  I like to fold all the excess plastic wrap over the top of the soap where the design is to provide some protection for the relief designs.

    PlasticWrapSoap1

    Place paper with the design down and the soap in the middle of the sheet. Bring the two short edges of the paper together and fold over the edges between ½ to 1 inch.

    Pleat1

    Fold the pleated edge toward the center of the bar of soap.

    FoldedOver

    Fold the edges of the excess paper toward the centers to make triangular tabs.

    PaperDart1

    Flip soap over and carefully fold the paper tabs to the center of the back, then tape down.

    TapedUpSoap1

    Turn your soap over and admire your beautiful work!

    WrappedUpSoap1 WrappedUpSoap3

    Share your pictures of your own product in the comments, and let us know if you have any requests for future tutorials.

  • Mother's Day Gifts: 5 ideas for the gardening mom

    Make it With Mom

    growmakeherbs

    Does your mom / wife / grandma / woman in your life have a green thumb? Or does she have a major black thumb but wishes she could have a flourishing garden? Either way, here are 5 easy DIY ideas for Mother's Day:

    1. Organic Garden Starter Kit: Take the stress and decision making out of starting an organic garden with one of our most popular garden starter kits. Even better, offer to spend a Saturday helping her plant the starters.
    2. DIY Hummingbird Feeder: Gift your mom a hummingbird feeder, and she'll enjoy spotting lovely hummingbirds for years. It's also made entirely from recyclable materials, so it's a great sustainable option. If you and your wife have younger children, this is a great project for them to work on with you or her.
    3. Herbs Garden Starter Kit: This culinary herb kit is one of the easiest ways to start growing your own food, and can be done entirely indoors. Plus fresh herbs take homemade soups and other dishes to the next level.
    4. Salad Greens Kit: Growing your own greens is fun and practical, and can be done in either the fall or spring and indoors.
    5. Homemade Apron: Since you're starting with one of your old shirts, this tutorial is actually pretty quick and easy. Make sure and choose a shirt with a pocket so that she has a place to put her sheers.

    For more Mother's Day gift ideas, visit here, and use the coupon code "makeitwithmom" for 15% off. All of our kits are sustainably made in Portland, OR so you can feel good about your purchase. And share your own Mother's Day craft and DIY projects in the comments!

  • DIY Apron Tutorial: Turn a men's shirt into an apron

    Clueless over what to get mom for Mother's Day? For something truly unique and memorable, we recommend either making mom a gift or preparing a project to do together so that she gets both a present (in this instance an up-cycled apron) and the memories of time spent crafting with you or your kiddos.

    For more Mother's Day gift ideas, visit here, and use the coupon code "makeitwithmom" for 15% off. And share your own Mother's Day craft and DIY projects in the comments!

    By Kristina Strain |

    Everyone has ill-fitting, unworn clothes languishing in their closets. With a few snips and clips, a turn with the seam ripper and a few stitches, you can turn that misbegotten frumpy button-down into something fresh and useful. Beyond creating a great gift for mom (or with mom), here are a few advantages of refashioning:

    1. Ecologically speaking, it’s much better for the planet to make your own rather than buying new. Even making an apron from scratch, out of brand-new fabric and thread isn’t as green as re-purposing an old item.
    2. Refashioning is a lot faster and easier than sewing from scratch, too. Details like hems, collars, and buttonholes can often be left intact, which means less fuss and effort for you.
    3. The price is appealing, too. For this project, I picked up a few thrift store items for $4, and finished out the projects with maybe another two dollars’ worth of thread and notions. Four dollars would barely buy a single yard of new fabric.
    4. Lastly, there’s the knowledge and satisfaction that comes along with doing things yourself. It’s creative and empowering, and the only real way to make something just the way you like it.

    Easily transform a large men’s button-down shirt into an apron using these instructions.

    Materials: 1 large button-down shirt, preferably with a straight bottom hem. Also scissors, pins, a fabric marking pen or pencil (a colored pencil works in a pinch), and coordinating thread. You also need a sewing machine, and an iron. A seam ripper might also come in handy.

    First, lay your shirt out flat, and draw a line from just under the armpit to up under the collar. Try to make the lines even and smooth, but it doesn’t matter too much if they wobble a little. As you can see, my shirt had a pocket in the way of one of my lines. To get around this, I simply removed the pocket (using a seam ripper), pinned it down where I wanted it (away from the cut lines) and sewed it down. Of course, if you wanted to do away with the pocket altogether, you could—but personally, I think aprons are best when they have a pocket for a recipe card or wooden spoon.

    Once the lines are to your liking, cut about a half inch away from them up towards the collar.

    Note that I didn’t cut directly on the lines, but left a half-inch border along them. This is called seam allowance, and it will come in handy later.

    The next step is to cut straight down the side seams of the shirt, separating the front from the back.

    Open the shirt out.

    Using your fabric-marking implement, draw a line about a half-inch from the back of the collar, and cut along it.

    Set aside what used to be the back of the shirt—you’ll use part of it later.

    The next step is to finish the collar by tucking the raw edge (where you just cut) up so it’s sandwiched between the folded-down part of the collar and the bottom part.

    Pin it in place if you want, and sew it together. I did this part by hand, but a machine would work, too.

    Now you should have this:

    (Note the relocated pocket!)

    The next step is to finish the raw edges where we cut away the sleeves in step one. Take your shirt over to your iron. Flip it over so you’re working with the back of the shirt. Using your fingers, gently turn about a ¼” to the back of the shirt, and press with the iron.

    Repeat this once more, so the raw edge of the fabric is no longer visible.

    Thread your machine with coordinating thread, and sew along the rolled hem you just created, keeping as close to the inside edge as possible.

    Repeat these steps with the other side of the shirt, so that both sides are tidy and finished.
    Now you have this, and it’s time to make your apron ties.

    Set your apron-in-progress aside, and pick up the back of the shirt that you cut away in step four. Cut two long strips that are four inches wide. Make them as long as you can—they are going to be your ties, and it’s good for them to be long.

    Trim the ends to make them even. Fold each strip in half, so the wrong side of the material is on the outside, and press. Sew along the edges where you just folded, making sure to leave one short end open.

    Make yourself a cup of tea, settle down, and gently turn each piece right-side-out again. You can use a ruler, or some other long skinny object, to help you pop the corners out again. Press both pieces.

    Sew along the three finished edges of your ties, about ¼” from the edges. This will make the finished apron look nicer and more polished.

    Bring your finished ties back to your apron piece.

    Position one like this, on the back of the apron at the top of the unfinished side edge. We’re going to turn these edges over and press, just like we did for the curved edges in step seven.

    Turn over, making sure to catch the unfinished edge of one tie in the fold.

    You can add a few pins to help it stay in place. It should be as perpendicular as possible. Press and sew this edge closed.

    Repeat for the other side, attaching the other tie.
    Last step: fold the tie out from the side and press. Sew a short seam right along the edge. This will keep it in place, and strengthen the seam.

    Repeat for the other side, and you are done.
    Now, get thee to the kitchen!

  • Mother's Day Gifts: 5 ideas to pamper mom

    Make it With Mom

    gmlotion
    Mom's work hard. If you want your mom (or wife, grandma, or any other woman in your life) to feel extra loved and pampered this Mother's Day, get her an experience for you to do together. Here are five easy, creative options:

    1. Organic Truffle Making Kit: Our smallest and most affordable chocolate making kit makes it easy to make delectable truffles at home. Yumm.
    2. Wine Making Kit: Imagine sipping homemade pineapple wine at a beachside BBQ this spring. Perfect.
    3. Bath Salt Kit: The spa has never been so close (her own bathroom). Give her months of relaxing blood orange, lavender and cedarwood soaks.
    4. Candle Making Kit: The candles in this kit are made with soy, so they burn far cleaner and with much less soot than traditional paraffin candles.
    5. Body Lotion Kit: She'll be able to personalize her lotion with botanical oils, and the pretty blue bottles are perfect for storing in a purse or at the desk.

    For more Mother's Day gift ideas, visit here, and use the coupon code "makeitwithmom" for 15% off. All of our kits are sustainably made in Portland, OR, so you can feel good about your purchase. Please share your own Mother's Day craft and DIY projects in the comments!

  • How to make a hummingbird feeder from recycled materials

    Make it With Mom

    Clueless over what to get mom for Mother's Day? For something truly unique and memorable, we recommend either making mom a gift or preparing a project to do together so that she gets both a present (in this instance a lovely hummingbird feeder) and the memories of time spent crafting with you or your kiddos.

    For more Mother's Day gift ideas, visit here, and use the coupon code "makeitwithmom" for 15% off.  And share your own Mother's Day craft and DIY projects in the comments!

    By Kristina Strain |

    It doesn't take much to transform an empty plastic bottle into a useful and attractive homemade hummingbird feeder. This project would make a terrific gift for a bird-loving or avid gardener mom, and it's one kids can help with, too! Set them to work cutting the felt flowers while you wield the glue gun.

    Hummingbird Feeder Parts:

      • 1 empty plastic bottle with screw top. Almost anything would work here. I chose a V8 bottle for its unique shape.
      • 1 larger plastic cap, such the cap from an aerosol can. I used a cap from a can of cooking spray for its color-- red to attract hummingbirds-- but a spray paint or even a laundry detergent bottle cap would probably work. As long as it's bigger and wider than your bottle's screw cap, you're set.
      • Sandpaper, 80 grit or higher.
      • Spray paint
      • Optional: masking tape if you want to make stripes with your spray paint
      • Red craft felt. Add another color if desired, but be sure to include red-- it attracts hummingbirds like nothing else!
      • Utility or craft knife
      • Scissors
      • Glue gun
      • Screwdriver or drill
      • Small eye hook, and string for hanging.


    Step one: Cut away the middle of your screw cap. If using a drill, make many holes in the cap and use your craft knife to cut between them. If using a screwdriver, heat it on the stove and use it to poke holes. Use a pair of pliers to hold your cap, if necessary.

    Here's the cut-away cap. It doesn't have to be pretty; no one's going to see this part except you.


    Step two: Using your craft knife, cut your larger plastic cap down a little, so it's about 1.5 - 2 inches tall.

    Step three: Warm up your glue gun. Hold the smaller cap suspended inside the larger one, so the lip of the smaller one sits above the larger one. Use hot glue to build a bridge attaching the small cap and keeping it suspended in the middle. Use lots of hot glue to make a good seal, but be sure and leave some gaps, otherwise your feathered friends won't be able to get a drink!

    Step four: Remove the label from your bottle and sand it gently all over with sandpaper. Spray paint in your desired color. This will take a few coats. While you're waiting for the paint to dry, skip ahead to step five.

    Step five: Cut flowers out of craft felt. I used six flowers for my feeder, but feel free to cut extras. You could even adhere flowers to side of the bottle for decoration. As I mentioned above, red is the important color here!

    Step six: Once dry, take your spray-painted bottle and gently screw it in. Using a drill or heated screwdriver again, make a small hole in the top of the bottle and insert your eye hook.

    Step seven: Glue your felt flowers to the cap assemblage, over the hot glue "bridge" that attaches one cap to the other. Make sure you leave some spaces between the flowers.

    Now, thread some twine or wire through the eye hook, and go out to look for a good place to hang your feeder. The best location is shady and in plain sight, that way the syrup won't evaporate as fast and you can tell when the feeder needs filling.

    Hummingbird Feeder Solution

    1 cup water
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    Red food coloring (optional)

    In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water together over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture begins to simmer and all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add the food coloring, if desired, and fill the feeder.

    Don't make more hummingbird feeder solution than your birds can drink in one week's time, even though the bottle can hold a lot. If the syrup sits in the bottle for too long, fermentation can occur, and that's not good for the hummingbirds. Take care to rinse out the bottle every couple weeks, as well.

    Hummingbirds are a lovely thing to have around. Aside from being pretty to look at, they're important pollinators and indicators of a healthy habitat.

  • Happy Earth Day

    ecotrustlogo

    Happy Earth Day from Grow and Make! As a final reminder, we're partnering with local Portland nonprofit Ecotrust by giving 50% of our profits from Earth Day (that's today!) to help further their great mission. Ecotrust has more than two decades of experience creating systematic change to help build a more sustainable future, and we're excited to be partnering with them. (Hint: Mother's Day is coming up in only three weeks. Buy her a bath salt or candle making kit for you to do together today, and you'll be by far her most prepared child when Mother's Day Weekend rolls around. Plus you'll be supporting a great cause!).

    In other earth-related news, the past weekend in Portland, OR was sunny and beautiful, allowing our product manager, Ananda, to plant some Grow and Make seed starter kits. Ananda is planning on recording her process of growing these seeds to create some gardening guides and tutorials for you all. If there's anything you'd like to see in those, let us know! Her pup, Telsa, even got in on the fun.

    We would love to see / hear / share how you celebrated Earth Day. Tag your Instagram photos with #growandmake, tweet at us, or share your experiences and photos with us on Facebook.

    Cheers,

    Kelsey

     

  • Guide to growing a straw bale garden

    In honor of Earth Day this Wednesday, we're reposting some of our most popular articles on sustainability and green living. We're also giving 50% of profits of all kits sold on Earth Day to Portland nonprofit Ecotrust. Ecotrust has more than two decades of experience creating systematic change to help build a more sustainable future, and we're excited to be partnering with them this week. 

    By Kent Rogers, a.k.a. “strawbaleman” |

    If you’re an urban gardener who’s despaired of finding enough space to grow even a tomato plant or two, “building” a garden with straw bales creates a whole new range of possibilities. Do you have rocky, uneven, or unyielding clay soil? Are you unable or unwilling to dig up a big plot of ground to prepare the soil for a sustainable garden? No problem!

    Is it difficult for you to stoop or bend to garden? With straw bales, you’ll be creating the biodegradable equivalent of a raised bed. Now imagine growing your plants in a mud-free, weed-free medium that turns to mulch after a growing season or two. Are you ready to begin?

    Even if you want to start with only a couple of bales, or if this technique brings out the engineer in you, you can grow almost any vegetable, herb or annual flower in a straw bale. You can tuck a few bales along the side of your house or garden wall. A parking strip is often the sunniest spot for many urban gardeners but poor soil and passing animals can make this less than desirable for food gardening. Bales are a great solution. If you are concerned about how attractive they’ll look, tuck in a few marigolds around the base and sow nasturtiums on the corners of the bales. Plant several varieties of colorful lettuce and perhaps a squash or pumpkin vine spilling a few fruits over the side.

    You can plant a wonderful kitchen herb garden right next to your house, even on your concrete patio. Imagine a neat little row with a couple of bales overflowing with parsley, cilantro, five or six different types of basil, arugula, sweet marjoram…oops, guess I’ll need to make that at least three bales.

    GETTING STARTED
    You can use bales of grass hay as well as straw, however you should be prepared to do some more initial "weeding" on these bales as some grass seeds may sprout. You can simply pull up the small sprouts as soon as they show, or give your bales a haircut. Check to see what's available in your area, you may find that someone has a few bales of grass hay to sell that's less expensive than straw.
    Plan your layout carefully. I’ve never tried to weigh a soaking wet bale of straw, but that’s because I couldn’t even budge it to begin with. You’ll not want to change your mind and move things around. Gardeners seem to be divided on the best way to lay the bales down…string side on the ground, or string parallel to the ground, so follow your fancy on this one. If you are laying out your bales in side by side rows, leave enough space to mow your lawn. Think about what you’ll be planting in each bale. Remember that whatever you plant will want all of the sun exposure you can find.

    You can grow just about any vegetable or annual you choose with the straw bale method, however the taller the vegetables the more attention you'll have to pay to staking or other support. You can plan on two to three tomato plants, four pepper or cucumber plants, or four to six lettuce plants per bale. Remember that tomatoes will have to be staked or on a trellis (always use the longest stakes you can find, the tomatoes will rise to the challenge and grow to the top). If you live in a favorable climate, you could even grow an early crop of sugar snap peas on the supports before you start the tomatoes.

    PREPARE THE BALES

    You’ll have to prepare the bales to make sure they’re past the initial heat of decomposing. With the proper fertilizers and water your straw bale should warm up to a temperature of about 100 degrees. As in many gardening techniques, there are proponents of several different methods. You can prepare your bales by just keeping them wet for three to four weeks prior to planting. If you prefer a more proactive approach, here’s one widely recommended method.

    Days 1-3: Water the bales thoroughly and keep them damp.

    Days 4-6: Sprinkle each bale with a 1/2 cup of a high nitrogen fertilizer like ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) or ammonium sulfate per day, and water it well into the bales. If you’d like you can substitute blood meal for the nitrate.

    Days 7-9: Cut back to 1/4 cup of fertilizer per bale per day, and continue to water it in well.

    Day 10: No more fertilizer, but continue to keep the bales damp.

    Day 11: Stick your hand into the bale. If it has cooled down to less than your body heat, you may safely begin planting as soon as all danger of frost has passed.

    Organic gardeners often follow a similar method to condition the bales, substituting a natural fertilizer such as fish oil or compost tea.

    PLANTING

    You can grow plants from seeds or transplants. To sow directly, top dress each bale with a couple of inches of seed starting mix and water in well. To transplant, use your hands or a trowel to make a crack in the bale for each plant. Add a little commercial potting mix around each plant. Do not use soil from your yard! It could spread diseases, bacteria and weeds to the bales. Place the plant down to its first leaf, and gently close the crack back together. Fertilize and water as necessary as your plants begin to grow. Don’t let the bales dry out, you may need to water more than once a day in the beginning. As the bales begin to decompose, they will hold more water and you should be able to water less frequently. A soaker hose placed over the tops of the bales is a great way to gently deliver water to your plants.

    There are a number of great online sites for further information, cultivating tips, and conversations about straw bale gardening. Gardeners love to share their tips, triumphs, and tragedies. You’re sure to find some great stories as you do your armchair gardening planning this winter.

  • Seven Steps to a Greener Kitchen

    In honor of Earth Day next week, we're reposting some of our most popular articles on sustainability and green living. We're also giving 50% of profits of all kits sold on Earth Day to Portland nonprofit Ecotrust. Ecotrust has more than two decades of experience creating systematic change to help the environment, and we're excited to be partnering with them this week. 

    By Kristina Strain |

    For many families, the kitchen is the center of home life. It's where the most decisions are made, time is spent, and the most meaningful interactions take place. If you're someone who's recently begun living more sustainably, or if you're itching to start, why not begin with the kitchen? This guide will show you seven simple things that will make your kitchen a greener, more enjoyable place to be.

    The guiding principle behind most of the tips you're about to read is this: consuming has environmental costs. Everything, from manufacturing to packaging to shipping, costs resources and makes waste. One way to bring this idea into your everyday shopping habits is to consider an item's "life cycle" before you plunk down your bucks. Ask yourself, is this item disposable? Is its entire useful life over in two minutes of wiping up a spill -- in the case of paper towels -- or will it continue to serve its purpose for decades -- like a cast-iron pot. Bringing yourself into that mindset is probably the best overall thing you can do for the planet, right now. For the rest, break your kitchen habits into small, manageable steps with these seven basic tips.

    1. Bag the bags. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this one, from reusing plastic zip baggies (check out our tutorial for making a plastic bag dryer), to keeping plastic bags out of your kitchen to start with by sewing your own cloth bags. Plastic bags are darn convenient things (let's be honest), but they're also ubiquitous landfill-cloggers with plenty of eco-friendly alternatives. Ditching plastic bags-- or at least reducing your consumption-- is a great first step to making a smaller impact.

    2. Start an indoor garden. Needing a pinch of basil for a recipe shouldn't require a separate trip to the store. Circumvent the gas, time, and money you'd spend by using part of your kitchen real estate as growing space. It's not as involved as it sounds. Start with one of our indoor garden kits, or try your hand at growing sprouts or windowsill garlic right in your own kitchen. The trips to the store you'll save -- along with the packaging, time, and money -- will really add up over time.

    3. Start composting. Though carrot peels and coffee grounds have reached the end of their "useful life" for humans, they still have plenty of use left for your houseplants or garden. Make them into fertilizer by composting. You'll not only keep these things out of the landfill (reducing your waste in the process), you'll give new life to the kitchen scraps you used to throw away.

    4. Improve your appliance efficiency. Here's a tip that requires an up-front investment of a little time, as opposed to constant vigilance. Take a few simple steps to ensure you're getting the most out of your kitchen appliances. Your fridge is likely your home's biggest electricity user, and taking a few simple steps to improve its efficiency will save resources and money.

    5. Green your lunch. Whether you're eating out for lunch or bringing your own from home, greening your daily lunch is an easy, manageable way to make a difference each day. Skip the paper coffee cups, chip bags, and juice boxes in favor of more eco-friendly solutions, and try bringing a reusable water bottle or mug, using a sturdy "mess kit" for leftovers, or bringing your lunch from home.

    6. Ban paper towels. Even if you're using 100% recycled-content paper towels, you're still giving in to the disposable mindset. There's so many costs, even with eco-friendly towels: shipping, packaging, manufacturing.

    7. Get toxics out of your kitchen. Naturally, your kitchen is the last place you'd want toxic substances, but believe it or not, there's lots to be found. The best place to start is by choosing non-toxic cleaners. Take it one step further and make your own (common ingredients: lemon, baking soda, vinegar). Then, read up on Teflon and learn why non-stick pans aren't the healthiest choice.

  • Tutorial: Making Hemp Rope

    In honor of Earth Day next week, we're reposting some of our most popular articles on sustainability and green living. We're also giving 50% of profits of all kits sold on Earth Day to Portland nonprofit Ecotrust. Ecotrust has more than two decades of experience creating systematic change to help the environment, and we're excited to be partnering with them this week. 

    By Kristina Strain

    Knowing how to make rope was once a critical skill for survival and self-sufficiency on the frontier. Early settlers were able to make rope from a variety of materials, but the main thing they used was hemp.

    These days, growing hemp is illegal in the United States. Hemp has none of the intoxicant properties of its cousin marijuana, and has traditionally been grown for humble utilitarian purposes such as making hemp twine, paper, cloth, and the all-important rope. But it's guilty by association, I suppose, and off-limits to any would-be hemp growers in this country.

    Fortunately, it's perfectly legal to import and use hemp grown outside the country. And that's a lucky thing, because when it comes to rope-making, hemp is hard to beat.

    A rapid growing plant, hemp is perfect for making rope. Hemp grows fast. It produces up to 75 tons of dry matter per acre per year. It thrives in poor soil, needs no fertilizers or pesticides to succeed, and gobbles up atmospheric CO2, stymieing the greenhouse effect. It produces more fiber per pound than either cotton or flax, and these fibers are easily extracted in order to make hemp rope, twine, or cord.
    Hemp rope is easy to make. Some methods involve using a rope machine, but fortunately such an investment isn't necessary to the process. All you really need is some hemp fiber or hemp twine, and a short piece of wooden dowel. Our hemp rope maker, available in our shop, will really streamline the process for you if you plan on making lots of hemp rope.

    Make Hemp Rope

    Step one: Separate the hemp fibers or unwind the hemp yarn and cut into lengths approximately twice as long as the desired length of the rope. Continue cutting until you have a bundle of fibers approximately half the size of the diameter of rope you'd like to make.

    Step two: Grab the bundle of fibers and fold it in half, securing the fold by placing a dowel rod through the resultant loop and into the ground. Smooth the fibers of this bundle down by running your hand along the length of the cord.

    Step three: Divide the bundle in two, holding half the fibers in your left hand and half the fibers in your right.

    Step four: Twist each bundle clockwise until the cord you are creating begins to kink and loop. Pull as hard as you can while twisting.

    Step five: Twist the two cords together, wrapping one over the other in a counterclockwise motion, to form a rope.

    Step six: Secure the ends with overhand knots beginning with the end in your hands. Once the first end is tightly tied, slip the rope off the dowel rod and tie it as well.

    To make a cable, repeat steps 2 through 6 and twist the two ropes together. This process can be repeated as many times as you like, making thicker, stronger cables as you go.

    Enjoy making your own hemp rope! This technique can be used to make hemp twine, hemp cord. and hemp yarn as well. It all depends on the size of the fibers you start with. Need some ideas for what to do with your newly-made hemp rope? Try using a piece as a clothesline, for air-drying your clothes. Make a hemp leash for your pet, or keep your hemp twine petite for use in jewelry making.

    Making rope is a great way to be self-sufficient and eliminate the supply chain requirement. Everything you can make yourself is one less packaged product-- in this case, one less coil of synthetic rope-- that needs to be manufactured for you. Have fun!

  • Introducing the Vanilla Cupcake Soap Making Kit

    You asked for kits that are a little smaller, more inexpensive and perfect for someone who is just starting to experiment with DIY and crafting. We listened.

    growmakecupcakesoap

    This month we're rolling out a series of new, smaller, retail-ready kits, starting with the Vanilla Cupcake Soap Making Kit. The kit has everything you need to make four adorable cupcake soaps with our cocoa butter glycerine soap base. The smaller price point makes it a good starter kit or children's birthday present.

    The kit is also a fun and affordable option for Mother's Day. Instead of just giving her a present, give her a fun afternoon of DIY-ing with the kids. (We'll be providing you with more Mother's Day tips and ideas in the coming couple weeks, so stay tuned!)

    Have more feedback or ideas for products? Let us know.

    In other news, here are three articles we loved this week for your weekend reading:

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