Crafts for the Uncrafty

Crafts for the Uncrafty

DIY Jojoba Oil Solid Perfume

When I was in elementary school, I was always setting up little stands in our building's lobby to sell homemade lip balms, customized friendship bracelets and such - and I was one of only maybe six kids in the entire building, so I actually made out like quite the bandit during these entrepreneurial ventures. (My "lip balms" were made by mixing Fuzzy Peach-scented Body Shop bath oil capsules into my mom's leftover Vaseline and throwing in some food coloring, so mayyyyybe not...oh, I don't know, especially safe to put on your mouth. But I was seven, so I assume liability was less of an issue than it might be nowadays.)

Apparently the desire to make giftable crafts stuck around, because I had wayyy too much fun making these solid perfumes - and they're a really cute last-minute gift idea for kids to make for friends and relatives (so long as you help them with the stove-inclusive part; let's please not burn any tiny fingers in the process of giftable craft-making). They're also 100% free of Fuzzy Peach-smelling chemical pods, hooray!

Note: You can choose whatever essential oils you want, and can combine them as you will to customize your scent - just make sure that the number of drops you use ends up totaling 30. (I was thinking about Tocca Bianca when I made this, so I went for a combo of lavender and lemon, leaning more heavily on the lavender.)

Crafts for the Uncrafty

The Tie-Dye Rainbow Birthday Cake

how to make a rainbow birthday cake with fondant

When the birthday girl wants rainbow cake, the birthday girl gets rainbow cake. 

So I guess this is a thing I do now. The make-an-impossibly-fancy-birthday-cake-for-my-child tradition started with the Mermaid Cake (after, of course, a process during which my friend Alisa taught me how to make a cake that did not turn out like this).

Then came the Spooky Ghost Cake, and the Moana Cake, and the Bloodshot Eyeball Cake...and now?

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Homemade Halloween Costumes Win Forever and Always

This photograph was taken in 1988, in case the crimped hair didn't tip you off.

Every year when I was a little girl, my mom would start making my Halloween costume in September. I might want to be a can-can dancer, or a character from Little House on the Prairie, or Cher (oh yes)...whatever it was, my mother would somehow pull out confusingly professional sewing skills that she apparently reserved solely for Halloween, and whip up a masterpiece of glitter and ruffles and perfection.

I am simultaneously sad about and relieved by the fact that kids these days ("kids these days"!! I'm so old) don't want homemade Halloween costumes. There was something grand - even heroic - about the fact that despite having no particular interest in crafting and exactly zero time to spare, what with her whole "being a lawyer" thing, my mother just rustled up her reserves and knocked it out of the park, year after year. And even when she didn't - my Cher costume consisted of a stretchy tube of sparkly fabric and the most unfortunate wig you have ever seen...it was still the only costume of its kind out there. It was mine. Made by my mom. I loved that.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

What To Do With All Those Mismatched Teacups

My mom - like many, many moms out there, apparently - has always collected teacups, and over the years she's passed off a handful to me as "gifts" (a.k.a. "things she has too many of and no room for"). Which means I, too, now have a lot of teacups. Some of them are family heirlooms and belong safely tucked away in my china cabinet, but others are just...teacups. I have no special attachment to them, but they're not the kind of thing you toss in the garbage, you know?

Enter Mollie's grandmother, Shotzy (which, if you're wondering, means "Darling" in German, because of course it does). Shotzy loved having a perfectly matched table, so whenever one of her teacups broke, she passed on the rest of the set to one of her granddaughters.

(Is all of this not the most charming thing you've ever heard?)

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Suggestion For Your Cinco De Mayo: Tissue-Paper Crafts & Ranch Water Cocktails

Cinco de Mayo is one of those holidays that only occurs to me when I'm in the middle of it - as in, when I'm sitting in a restaurant and notice the poster reading "CINCO DE MAYO CERVEZAS ONLY $2!!!" and think, Ooh. I should have a beer.

This year, Cinco de Mayo occurred to me several days prior to the actual event for two reasons: The first is that Mollie is throwing a party on Friday, and I just got the email reminder, and the second is that a few days ago I went over to Mollie's house and she showed me how to make the tissue-paper flowers and Ranch Water cocktails that'll be featured at this party. (Related: going to Mollie's house is always a good idea.) So, really, I suppose there's actually only one reason that Cinco de Mayo occurred to me before actual Cinco de Mayo, and that's "I have a friend named Mollie."

These tissue-paper flowers are so cute, and so versatile - you can make them bigger or smaller depending on the size of tissue paper you use, and can choose whatever color palette you want - and they're easy enough to make that you can hand over assembly duties to the kids (so you can focus on those Ranch Water cocktails).


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