Dip-dyed napkins for our late summer wedding…

When Will and I were planning our wedding we knew we wanted to DIY as many elements we could because we love making things ourself. Over the past year we’ve been slowly phasing out paper products from our home and acquiring more reusable clothe options! Because we only use clothe napkins in our home, this seemed like a great opportunity to bulk buy napkins that we could use for years and years without any extra production waste happening due to our consumption.

I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of basic white napkins because our theme for the wedding was lots of color, so I decided to dye the napkins myself. For this project I bulk ordered white 100% cotton napkins on Amazon – I purchased around 180 napkins for under $100 and used RIT dye from the grocery store. I would love to try this project again in the future and explore more sustainable dyes or learn how to make my own natural dyes!

I was able to dye all of the napkins within 2 days, the first day my little brother helped me and the second day my good friend Abby was there to assist! I separated the napkins into sets of 20 and tried folding them in lots ofdifferent ways. After that it was time to start dyeing! Be sure to pre-wash anything you plan to dye to remove any finish that may be on it!

Here are the steps I followed to customize our colorful wedding napkins!

Materials:

  • White 100% cotton napkins
  • RIT dye
  • salt
  • water
  • large tubs or bins
  • drying rack

Instructions:

  1. Fold napkins in various patterns – this is the creative part where you can really just play because no matter what they turn out beautiful.
  2. Fill the tub halfway with very hot water (for me it was about 8 cups), I just used tap water on the hottest setting but you could heat it up in a tea kettle if you wanted it really hot.
  3. Dissolve 1 cup of salt in the dye bath.
  4. Add 1 bottle of RIT dye to dye bath. If you want softer colors, use less dye!
  5. Soak napkins in dye bath for 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Wring out napkins and rinse well to remove any extra dye.
  7. Line dry or if you are afraid of the dye bleeding, you can run them through the gentle cycle of the wash and hang them to dry.
  8. Iron and enjoy!

I did all of my soaking in the backyard to make sure I didn’t make a mess in my house – luckily we were able to complete the whole set without an spills! Now we have a huge supply of beautiful napkins that we can use daily! I love that they are a reminder of our wedding day too, that makes them even more special! In the future I would love to explore ways to do this project again but in a more sustainable way!

Any other wedding DIYers out there? What about you? Have you ever tried to create your own dyes? Or what is your favorite kind of  organic natural dye? I would love to learn more!

love & light,

Lena

DIY jasmine make-up setting spray

The past few years I have been transitioning to a more natural beauty and skincare routine. Sometimes I make my own products and other times I buy products that I know are made without the use of dangerous chemicals. I have lots of favorite all-natural beauty and skin products but sometimes I just like something I have made myself better. When I’ve made it, I love knowing exactly what has gone into the product that I am absorbing into my skin and bloodstream.

This recipe is for a make-up setting spray that I put on after applying my make-up in the morning. As a teacher I am on the go all day long and have very little time to stop and look in the mirror so I need to know that my make-up is going to stay in place without any touch-ups! This light weight spray takes care of that worry for me and gives me all the peace of mind I need while teaching my tiny humans how to paint!

Here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Witch Hazel
  • 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel (natural, not the bright green stuff)
  • 1 Tbsp Distilled Water
  • 5 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 2 oz. glass bottle with spray nozzle

Directions:

  1. Fill 2 oz. glass bottle with 1 tablespoon natural aloe vera gel.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons witch hazel and 1 tablespoon water to fill bottle.
  3. Shake well to mix thoroughly.
  4. Add essential oils and shake again to evenly disperse.
  5. To use: Shake well and spray over freshly applied makeup.

I love using lavender and jasmine essential oils because they smell so lovely. Lavender is also great for your skin to soothe redness and irritation. I use Jasmine for its empowering and confidence-boosting aroma, as well as the fact that it is great for improving dry or dehydrated skin!

I know there are lots of different recipes out there, has anyone tried a different recipe for a DIY setting spray? How do you make yours? I love this one and I hope you to do!

love & light

Lena

Sale on All-Natural Bug Spray in the Etsy shop!

Today I am sharing a special coupon code with all of my lovely blog visitors! My Etsy shop is filled with homemade, all-natural, toxin-free apothecary items that I adore… But my all-natural bug spray – made with 5 all-natural worry free ingredients – has been used on the regular at our house lately.

We love taking evening strolls as the sun sets, but the downside to that is all the mosquitos start coming out… and they are hungry! I have wanted to avoid any bug bites because I am getting married in less than a month and I definitely do not want to be rocking little red itchy spots all over my arms and legs! So every night I spray my handmade bug spray on and when the mosquitos smell me coming, they fly the other way! And the light lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella scent is not off-putting to us humans at all.. so don’t worry about smelling like chemicals and getting a headache!

My All-Natural Bug Spray is made with the highest quality essential oils on the market so you can rest assured that you are getting a safe product! Just spray it on your exposed skin, clothes, and hair and you can be on your way!

From now until the end of the month you can enjoy your purchase with a 15% off discount when you use the code BUGSBEGONE in the checkout! Each bottle is made-fresh-to-order andcomes in an amber glass bottle so it will last you the whole summer!

love & light

Lena

Garlic Mint Garden Pest Spray

**This is a review of the recipe created by Jami over at An Oregon Cottage  that I am using as a regular part of my garden routine now!**

As you saw in my earlier post this week, I have been slightly obsessed with my garden this spring and summer. I simply love the magic of making things grow. We planted a patch of sunflower seeds on earth day together and just this week they are finally starting to blossom, I am so excited to see how they look this fall!

Early on this spring I was having a little trouble though, every morning I would find big holes in my sunflowers. Something was having a pretty hearty midnight snack on my flowers every night and I was worried they wouldn’t make it! I knew it was time to find a solution to try and rescue my sunflowers from this snack-attack!

Because we try our best to pursue a green, toxin and waste-free lifestyle – I was not interested in using any kind of pesticide in my garden. I spent days researching if there was an all-natural way of deterring the pests without causing any harm, and after a few different attempts I finally found something that works wonders!

When I stumbled upon this recipe of Jami’s I was so relieved! I had tried so many recipes and watched my plants disappear more and more each morning until I finally found this beauty!

before using any spray

This spray is made of 4 ingredients (+ water) and is very effective! So far this summer I have only had to spray it on my plants twice. The spray doesn’t smell great and is spicy so any little critters who take a nibble will not be interested in eating anymore.. although the smell alone should be enough to send them packing! I still have lots of bees zipping around the plants even though they have been sprayed so it won’t harm them either!

3 weeks after first application

The recipe is stinky while making it but a bottle of this will last a really long time! Make sure you aren’t expecting company the next day after making it because the smell is pretty potent – I moved my essential oil diffuser to the kitchen to help get things smelling nice again! Here is the original recipe that I followed.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • fresh mint
  • dry cayenne pepper
  • biodegradable soap (I used Dr. Bronners)
  • water

For complete instructions head over to the original recipe by clicking here!

When using the spray, make sure to put it on after 4pm or on an overcast day so it doesn’t burn the plant. Spray all of the plant, even the base and undersides of leaves when you apply it! After spraying the first time, I waited about 3 and a half weeks between applications.

flowers blooming after 5 weeks of first application

What do you think? What kinds of organic gardening tips do you have? I’m learning as I go, but this will definitely be a recipe I keep on hand for years to come!

love & light,

Lena

All Natural Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

I love making my own bath and beauty products, I think it is a fun way to experiment with all natural living and exploring healthier alternatives to some of the chemical-laden store options out there. I am totally a bath kind of lady.. After a stressful day I think there are very few things out there that feel as good as a long soak in the tub, so many of my favorite recipes happen to be bath products.

This tropical sugar scrub recipe smells so delicious, the coconut and lime aromas make me feel like I am on a beach vacationing somewhere near the equator. I am using it right now because it is summer but I also love to make a batch of this lovely scrub when I am having the Michigan mid-winter stir-crazy blues.

The sugar is a great exfoliator to get rid of dead skin and impurities while the coconut oil is super moisturizing and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth! You can use it in the bath or the shower and the sugar dissolves quickly for easy cleaning. Use this quick and easy recipe to make the sugar scrub whenever you need a little fresh and healthy pick-me-up… or just whenever you feel like it!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 unrefined virgin coconut oil (if you don’t like the smell of coconut you can use refined)
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • zest of 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and coconut oil.
  2. Add lime zest and mix evenly.
  3. Add 5 drops lime essential oil. Stir to combine.
  4. Store in a glass airtight container.(*Note: Remember, citrus oils can cause skin sensitivity to the sun so start small, if you add more than the recommended amount avoid direct sunlight immediately following use.)

I simply love this recipe and even with my super sensitive skin I have no trouble in the sun with the essential oil ratio used. Remember that the temperature of your coconut oil may change the consistency slightly so add more sugar or oil accordingly to get the texture you desire in a scrub! I prefer to use an unrefined coconut oil so I get a heavy coconut scent but you can use refined coconut oil if the smell doesn’t appeal to you.

I hope you enjoy your all natural at-home pampering!

love & light

Lena