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DIY Hand Sanitizer with Essential Oils

DIY Hand Sanitizer with Essential Oils

Learn how to make a homemade hand sanitizer spray with witch hazel & a hand sanitizer gel with aloe vera!

How to make hand sanitizer with alochol, aloe vera, witch hazel and essential oils.

Like many of you, we have been consumed with thoughts about Covid-19. In the span of a couple of months, daily life has changed in many ways. With countless items being sold out in stores and online, we are all having to get a bit more creative about the items we use on a daily basis. This process can at times be challenging, but we are here to help.

Examining the products we use and finding sustainable ways to make them is what Grow and Make is all about. Rather than digging through price-gouged products online and searching through empty shelves, we’re encouraging you to get a little crafty!

While the World Health Organization states that nothing replaces washing your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, when that is unavailable, hand sanitizer is the next best thing.

The basic principles of making your own hand sanitizer is to start with alcohol. It is important to keep the ratio over 60% alcohol, which is why most recipes recommend not going below 70% alcohol in order to stay on the safe side. There are two main types, the liquid kind which is distributed through a mist nozzle, and gel based sanitizer, which is distributed through a pump or lotion bottle top. If you have an empty bottle at home with one of these types of lids already, we suggest making that type. There are also many places you can order these empty bottles online.

How to make hand sanitizer with alochol, aloe vera, witch hazel and essential oils.

How to Make a Spritzer Type Sanitizer

Step 1: Fill your bottle three quarters of the way with alcohol. Fill the remainder with either witch hazel or water. 

Step 2: If you have some essential oils on hand, they will not only help mask the strong smell of the alcohol, but also leave an antiviral and antibacterial residue on your hands from the herbal properties of the essential oils. Clove, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Rosemary, and Lemon Essential oils have been known to fight viral infections dating all the way back to the black plague times. In addition to those listed above, Lavender, Oregano, Lemongrass, and Tea tree are also highly recommended and known for their strong antiseptic properties. We suggest using about 12 drops total for a 3 oz mister. 

Step 3: Shake vigorously for about 5 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. Shake a few times previous to each use. Mist both hands, and rub thoroughly between both hands including the backs of them. Let air dry for full sanitizing effect.

DIY hand sanitizer for coronavirus | How to make hand sanitizer with alochol, aloe vera, witch hazel and essential oils.

How to Make a Gel Type Sanitizer

Follow Step 1 from above, but instead of adding Witch Hazel or Water, add aloe vera gel. To be on the very safe side, we recommend ¾ alcohol, and ¼ aloe vera gel, but you can also use a ratio of ⅔ alcohol to ⅓ aloe vera gel and it will still be effective, while being kind+er to your skin. If following this two thirds ratio, we recommend using measuring spoons instead of mixing it in your bottle, to keep this ratio exact.  

Add essential oils if desired, following directions in Step 2 from above. You can also add 1-3 drops of almond, jojoba, or vitamin E oil to add moisturizing properties and prevent your hands from getting too dry and cracked from the alcohol and excessive washing.

Follow step 3 from above.

Here is the article that inspired us to make our own sanitizer to begin with!

For full DIY Coronavirus Protection, we recommend checking out our other blog post about DIY Fabric Face Masks.

How to Sew a DIY Face Mask

How to Sew a DIY Face Mask

Using a CDC Approved Face Mask Pattern

How to sew a fabric face mask using a CDC approved pattern.

Like many of you, we have been consumed with thoughts about Covid-19. In the span of a couple of months, daily life has changed in many ways. With countless items being sold out in stores and online, we are all having to get a bit more creative about the items we use on a daily basis. This process can at times be challenging, but we are here to help.

Examining the products we use and finding sustainable ways to make them is what Grow and Make is all about. Rather than digging through price-gouged products online and searching through empty shelves, we’re encouraging you to get a little crafty!

First off, should you wear a mask? There is a lot of debate around this subject right now, especially in the United States. Our take here is that wearing a mask is better than not wearing a mask. Here is why: A large part of opposition to the public wearing masks stems from the huge shortage we are experiencing of surgical and N95 masks in our country. There is not enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to outfit our health care workers who are working on the front lines. We would like to encourage you to reserve surgical masks and N95 masks for those who need them the most. However, that does not mean that you need to go without! 

We found a video that we feel has a lot of common sense. Although there is still a lot of uncertainty around how the novel coronavirus is spread, or how many asymptomatic cases there are, we do know wearing a mask reduces the spread. A person wearing a mask that coughs or sneezes greatly reduces the amount of droplets sprayed into the air (which is the main way the coronavirus is spread). Very few of us know for certain if we are carrying the virus or not, and as we all know, when the urge to cough overcomes our body, the act is often involuntary. This is why it makes sense for us to wear home made masks. We keep the world a little bit safer, and we don’t take from the global pool of PPE that is so critically needed by our healthcare system right now. In the words of our new favorite video, “My mask protects you, and your mask protects me.”

Credit: #Masks4All | https://masks4all.org/

Making Homemade Masks

How to sew a fabric face mask using a CDC approved pattern.

The plans for these homemade masks are simple to follow and the masks are completely washable. We recommend running them through the wash cycle on hot, with a bit of bleach between uses. Dry on hot. 

If you have the time, and are interested in making DIY facemasks, many local hospitals and governments are taking donations during the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage you to reach out to your local resources and find a place in need. The video we have linked to below has guidelines on how to sew a mask that are approved by the CDC. They have a step by step instructional video showing how to sew the mask tie straps. The video suggests using elastic or ties, but we listed some alternatives because we think it’s nice to be able to use what is on hand. Also, in ours, we made a pocket on the inside so you can put a filter in, should you choose to add this to your personal mask. Any kind of “spun” non-woven synthetic fabric, such as sizing, a dried out baby wipe, etc, will improve the efficacy of your mask. If you choose to add this pocket, you can change out the filter each time you use it. We also found that you can find a tighter fit if you sew a pipe cleaner in between the layers at the bridge of the nose. 

DIY fabric face mask with a filter
DIY fabric face mask with a filter

It’s important to keep in mind, that home made masks are not perfect, and ultimately, you have to make your own call as to how helpful they are. But here at Grow and Make, we feel good about taking our health into our own hands, and making these masks feels like a step in the right direction. 

How to sew a fabric face mask using a CDC approved pattern.

Here is what you will need: 

  • 2 pieces of cloth that are cut to 9” x 6” (We recommend the highest thread count that you have on hand, and a cotton blend is most effective according to some reports)
  • 2 ties (7” of elastic each, or 2 long rubber bands, hair ties, or alternatively, you can create ties with ribbon)

Here is a link to the instructional video we used to make this mask:

Credit: Deaconess | Deaconess.org

If you make your own mask at home, share the photo online using the hashtag #masks4all to get the message out!

For additional information regarding masks and how to wear them properly, you can download this .pdf from the New York City Health Department:

Make Your Own Activated Charcoal Soap

Make Your Own Activated Charcoal Soap

We are celebrating Valentine’s Day this year with these gorgeous heart-shaped activated charcoal soaps. Not only are these soaps fun and a bit unconventional, but they are also great for your skin!

Activated charcoal has many health benefits for your skin. It cleans your skin deeply, detoxifying pores and balancing the oils in your skin. It soothes skin irritations and can even minimize pores. We think activated charcoal is a great natural tool to add to your skincare routine!

To make these heart-shaped soaps, you will need the following:

  • Soap base blocks: We used two glycerin soap base blocks for this project. If you want to achieve a deep black color, be sure to use a base that is clear. If you want a lighter grey color, use an opaque soap base such as cocoa butter or goat milk.
  • Food grade activated charcoal
  • Essential oils for fragrance (1-2 teaspoons)
  • Cosmetic grade glitter (if you like sparkles)
  • Silicone heart-shaped mold: We used this mold from Amazon. If you use a mold made out of something other than silicone, make sure the mold you use is heat resistant.

Start by cutting the soap base blocks into cubes and melting it on the stove on medium heat in a small pan (or purchase one of these pour pots from our website). You can also melt the soap cubes in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Melt in 30-second intervals and stir in between, continuing until fully liquid.

Once melted, remove from heat and add one heaping tablespoon of activated charcoal. Mix thoroughly. You should begin to see the color and texture become more consistent as the charcoal dissolves. Stir in the fragrance and glitter if desired. Pour the soap into your silicone mold and let it cool down to harden. To speed up this process, you can put the soap in your freezer for 20-30 minutes. However, we suggest letting it set for a few minutes until a skin starts to harden on the surface to make it safer to move into the freezer. Be sure to keep it level while it is cooling.

Remove soap from molds and enjoy!

Make Your Own BBQ Spice Rub (using spices from your Artisan BBQ Sauce Kit!)

Make Your Own BBQ Spice Rub (using spices from your Artisan BBQ Sauce Kit!)

Spice Rub Recipe

Now that you have mastered the art of homemade BBQ sauce using Grow and Make’s Artisan BBQ Sauce Kit, it is time to make the perfect spice rub! This rub uses many of the BBQ sauce ingredients that you have become familiar with from your kit, along with common household staples.

This dry rub can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container so its ready right when you need it. Try pairing it with your homemade BBQ sauce to make the ultimate barbecue gift for the Pitmaster in your life.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne powder (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoon New Mexico Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper

 

Measure the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Rub over raw meat and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before grilling, for best flavor. Use to season your favorite proteins or vegetables! This rub works well on sliced eggplant, potatoes, and chicken.

If you want to make learn how to make your own homemade BBQ sauce, check out our Artisan BBQ Sauce Making Kit!

Crystal Soy Candle Tutorial

Crystal Soy Candle Tutorial

Learn how to make your own soy candles with hidden crystals!

Crystals have the ability to emit energy frequencies and what better event to place that into practice, Summer Solstice! We think these DIY crystal candles are a great activity for any summer solstice party or celebration. It’s a good idea to do some research before picking a stone but even if you just like the color, go for it!

Cover your work station with plastic wrap to make for easier cleanup, if you get wax on anything just use some hot water to scrub.

Materials Needed:

  • Our Vanilla Soy Candle Making Kit
  • Crystals
  • Dried herbs/petals
  • Essential Oils (if you want an additional scent)
  • Scissors
  • Bonus if you have a hairdryer

First, you will prepare the container and wick by using a tiny piece of putty to place at the bottom of the container, place wick and press firmly. A clothespin or two popsicle sticks can be used to hold your wick in place.

An alternative to a double boiler is to use a heat-proof measuring cup and place in microwave for 1 minute. Keep heating in 1-minute intervals until the wax is fully melted.

After heating your wax to the appropriate temperature, this is the time to add your favorite scent, whether it be essential oils or a perfume/cologne.

Pick out some of your favorite herbs or flower petals to place in the candle along with your crystals.

After pouring the wax into your chosen vessel, wait a few minutes and start strategically placing herbs or petals into the wax. They will start to sink, this is normal, so as you candle burns, the herbs/petals will still be visible. Be sure to leave about a ½ inch in diameter from the wick, free of any dried herbs. This ensures a safe burn where the flame will only have contact with the wax. As the wax is hardening, continue to place the petals on top.

Crystal & Essential Oil Combinations

Use your favorite crystals or stones to place on top to add some extra magic. Be sure to place on top while the wax is still melty but starting to get firm. If crystals start to sink, remove them and let the wax cool a bit longer. If cracking happens, do not fret! A hair dryer can be used to remelt the candle or you can pour any leftover wax on top to smooth out.

Wait a few hours for the wax to fully set, then go ahead and light them up!

Creativity – Citrine and Sandalwood

Inspiration – Labradorite and Lemon

Relaxation – Amethyst and Lavender

Romance – Rose Quartz and Ylang Ylang

Wisdom – Jade and Peppermint

Vessels

Seashell

Jars

Ice cube tray

Tins

Tea Cup

Flowerpot

Orange peel

Favorite DIY Kombucha Recipes and Flavorings

Favorite DIY Kombucha Recipes and Flavorings

Here are some inspired ideas for how to flavor your kombucha

When using fresh fruit it is best to juice it, before adding. The fresher the juice is the better your results will be. Add one cup of juice to 1 gallon of kombucha. Then add in spices or natural flavorings and extracts to taste. When adding fresh herbs, be sure to strain the herbs before serving or after a couple days of soaking in the flavors.

Our Favorite Kombucha Flavoring Combinations

Blood Orange and Cinnamon

Fresh mint and candied ginger

Berries and grated ginger.

Strawberries and basil.

Cherries and almond extract.

Pears and vanilla extract.

Apple juice and cinnamon.

Rosehip and fresh ginger.

Lime and basil

Lemon and Honey (lemonade)

Ginger and cherries

Pineapple and lemon

Coconut water, fresh mint and lime juice

Almond extract and apple juice

Hibiscus & pear