VINTAGE FINDS | Peacock Wall Decor

Found this piece at a garage sale. Got it for $2. The woman selling it said she'd had it for years. This pretty bird is huge, measures about 33 1/2" x 29 1/2". Now it's adorning our backyard patio wall. Once I tire of this dirty gold color it has going on, it can easily be spray painted a new hue, it's molded plastic! Looks almost metal though and yeah that's probably because of the gold.

Isn't it rather stunning?


Upcycle Bottle Caps & Styrofoam into Stamps | TUTORIAL

Unfortunately most restaurants still heavily rely on Styrofoam boxes as a means for the customer to take home their unfinished food. Every now and then I do end up with food leftover. I'm also left with a Styrofoam box that I dread being given because I don't want to be responsible for its disposal. I just have to agree with Jane Orr of I am a Green Being blog, "Styrofoam is EVIL!" but the least anyone can do is find some continuous uses for it besides the obvious, use it as packaging material. I made stamps. I been wanting to make stamps for a while now and with a recent dinner outing I was left with a styrofoam box...

Now this tutorial will be a 2 in 1 upcycling endeavor! You will upcycle not only styrofoam but plastic bottle caps too! Remember plastic is forever, there is no such thing as disposable plastic.

You Will Need:

  • Stryofoam, like a take-out box
  • Plastic Bottle and Container Caps
  • Scissors or Touch Knife
  • Pencil
  • Some sort of permanent adhesive, I used E-6000 but as you'll read later that didn't go exactly as planned.

Not pictured above but you'll also need:
  • Stamping Ink
  • Paper or Cardstock or whatever you want to test and use your stamps on
  • Stencil
Let's Begin... 1. Cut out your styrofoam into smaller more manageable pieces.

2. Draw out what you want as your stamp shape. The stencil is optional, I just happened to find this old thing and I figured I'd use it at least for one stamp.

3. Glue your cut out shapes onto the caps. I used the E-6000 and what happened was that it was too strong for the styrofoam and it ate through the first cut outs I put on. I had to add another layer of cut outs to the first and I used very little E-6000 that second time but it still kind of ate through so I added a third layer with even less glue and that finally did it. I definitely think some other sort of glue like maybe crazy glue would work best for this, especially with thin styrofoam.

4. Now you have your stamps!

Silly me, I honestly thought you could use acrylic paint with these stamps. It did not go well either. Don't use acrylic paint with styrofoam stamps. It just doesn't work or look right in the end.

I ended up buying and using these dye ink pads by Hampton Art in Aqua blue and Black.

You can create all kinds of interesting designs with repetitive patterns, there's no limit.

What will you be stamping?

DIY: Rosemary Essential Oil (Actually it's Infused Oil) | TUTORIAL

In my backyard are two big and fluffy rosemary shrubs. They yield rosemary all year round. The aroma when you stand near by is divine in that it is herbal and almost cleansing. I want to find every possible use for rosemary and take advantage of this bounty. Sure, I know rosemary is wonderful in the kitchen. There's all kinds of recipes that call for some rosemary but I recently found that you can make your own infused oils, so I did.

***I thought this was essential oil because I was just going off the tutorial I found and didn't question it. But as someone pointed out below, maybe I should have questioned it. This is infused oil, not essential oil. Basically though, both essential oil and infused oil are made from herbs or plants. Infused oils are diluted, while essential oils are pure concentrated oils.***

Check it out, my rosemary infused oil! I followed this tutorial from the Living Life with Purpose blog.

Infused oils are pretty easy to make. Rosemary only required 4 things!
  • A Carrier Oil (I used olive)
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • A Jar
  • Patience
Plenty of patience because making infused oils is all about letting time pass. I waited for a month like the tutorial instructed. By that time the fresh rosemary had completely lost its green color. The new oil has such a strong aroma but that's probably because it had been sealed in for so long. I plan on incorporating this oil into my shampoo because the rosemary will restore moisture, add shine and stimulate hair growth.

Now when I was looking for how-to's on this I came across two videos and according to this one by Lauren Roy, infused oils should be made in dark or amber glass jars and bottles and left for months. Then this video uses basically the same instructions as the first tutorial but I noticed that, either people say to put the oil in a sunny spot or a dark cool place. The reason for a cool dark place is to avoid your oil turning rancid after so long. Like I said, I ended up following the first tutorial and placing my clear jar on my window sill. It seemed to work for me, it has yet to go bad.

As with all herbs, there are precautions and such to consider. Take a look at Making SAFE Herbal Infused Oils by 21st Century Simple Living.

Oh and in my backyard there's also lavender and mint growing, so I think I know what oils are up next. I hope you give making your own infused oils a try too.

Upcycled Denim Sandals | TUTORIAL

Thanks to a post I saw on the Upcyling Facebook page, I was inspired to make my own upcycled denim sandals. Especially after just having torn the straps of my go-to flip flops. I am by no means a teacher so please bare with me as I present to you my first tutorial...

You Will Need:
  • An article of denim clothing (I used pant legs)
  • Denim pant hems (preferably that stretch)
  • Old flip flops or sandals to use as outer bottom soles
  • Some sort of permanent bonding glue such as E-6000
  • Scissors
Forgot to picture but you'll also need:
  • Straight Pins
  • Pencil or Chalk
  • Sewing machine with thread
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Scrap piece of cotton
Let's Begin...

First cut your pant hems into 4 pairs of straps. This is where it gets tricky. The measurements I came up with are those that fit my feet (I'm a US size 7 by the way), so obviously I think it'll be best to do some measuring of your own feet or use similar sandals you already own to find the most correct fit for the straps. That's why I recommend they be stretch denim, for that reason and also comfort.

Cut the following straps: One pair at 3.5", these will be your toe rings. One pair at 5.5", one pair at 6" and the last pair at 8". Set those aside. Then you'll want to take a flip flop to use as the pattern mold. Set it on your denim material. Use your pencil or chalk to mark around the shoe adding about half an inch. Do both shoes and cut them out. I didn't like the wash of the denim I had available so I used the wrong side for the right side.

At this time cut copies of the denim onto your scrap piece of cotton. Now you should have four feet, two denim, two cotton. The cotton will be the underside lining to avoid visible seams and keep all straps intact. It's also easier to glue on this way, least for me.

Take the denim pieces and cut a small slit big enough for the toe ring straps. To position the slit I referenced my old flip flops. Next take the toe ring strap and pass it through the slit until there's half inch of the strap out of there. You will sew the strap in place for 1.5 centimeters long, very close to the raw edges of the slit.

Now pin the rest of your straps into place. It helps to use your foot and actually place the straps on them but of course be careful with pinning. Once you have them where you want them, sew them down at less then a quarter of an inch and remove those pins when finished. Then place the cotton shoe over this denim side with the straps and pin that together.

You will sew all around at 4/8" and leave a small opening to flip the fabric inside out to reveal the insides as your outer shells. Before flipping cut vertical slits around the shoes to allow nice curves once flipped.

With the shoes now flipped, try them on your feet and check out how the straps feel. I had to un-sew and re-sew some of mine to get a more snug fit. You can either iron press them now or after you do a final seam all around the shoes at about 3/8" making sure to close the openings you left for flipping. I wasn't able to sew completely around as some straps were in the way, as they should be but still, it's okay to only sew around what's visible (no one can really see under the straps anyway).

Once you've got a good fit and it's all sewed and pressed, you're ready to glue them down onto your old pair and muah! You've given new life to an old pair of shoes that were heading to the trash.

P.S. I took some bleach to the straps to tone down the dark denim a bit. I forgot to include a side view of the sandals but I can tell you that since I chose to use the bright orange flip flops I had, there is a thin visible layer of orange. That's okay with me though.

Naked Organix Argan Body Butter | REVIEW

Body butter, to me, has always sounded a little funny. Why would you want to slap on some grease? Butter is greasy. There is such a thing as over moisturizing, your skin needs to breathe! But I've learned that body butter really isn't all that greasy at least not those I've tried. Currently I am using this Naked Organix Argan Body Butter. Naked Organix has several other flavors available too (yes, I'm calling them flavors for lack of a better term).

Their whole line of body butters are:
  • Paraben Free
  • Fragrance Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Cruelty Free
  • Soy Free
  • SLS Free
  • Plant Based
*Chemical-free formula for sensitive people.

So back to the Argan specifically ("Nourishing Therape" by the way, each flavor is different therapy), it has a light natural scent, the texture is creamy both soothing and hydrating. To apply warm it up a bit with your hand first because it starts out firm and a tad grainy. I was glad to know a little goes a long way, lasting throughout most of the day. It is a small container (amber glass, 4 oz.) but great value for high quality.

I honestly have no complaints. I use it for my difficult elbows and knees, sometimes under my eyes and even as lip balm. Oh and for my hands since they dry easily from constant washing after gardening, painting and such, this has been amazing.

Just know that it is the active substances called triterpenoids that occur in Argan Oil that offer amazing skin protection benefits. These include tissue healing (scars), anti-inflammatory, sun-protective and disinfectant properties, to name a few. (Learn more about Argan oil here).

where to find me

thee Kiss of Life Upcycling © . ☮♥♻