Bottles, Jars and Sugar Scrubs

Before the holiday weekend begins I really wanted to make an actual craft post. I was tempted to agonize over what “The Perfect idea would be, and I realized there might be no such thing. Because the first thing I had to learn with crafting is that the sky is the limit. Crafting encompasses so many fields of creativity from sewing and knitting, to polymer clay and jewelry or upholstering furnature and painting. I could not think of just one craft idea that would encompass all of these at once. If there is such a thing, surely I would not be able to get it put together in just a few days.

So here is what I decided upon; the thing I do the most often. Recycling glass containers! Ok, this probably sounded anti-climatic. But for me this made sense because so many of my creations and DIY projects include glass containers or storage items. And the first way I love to save money is to never throw away glass bottles and jars or good plastic containers. Once you stop yourself from tossing these things in the trash when you’re cooking, that candle has burned out or the wine bottle is finished, you wouldn’t believe how many wonderful storage options are available to you without having to run to the craft store.

This collection is really just scratching the surface, this is only one sixth of my collection of saved bottles and jars stored in a few boxes in the basement. That picture just tells me “Oh the possibilities!”

I’d like to share with you real quick the methods I use to clean up pasta sauce jars, candle containers, etc. And then I will reward you with a simple sugar scrub recipe I made in which I got to use one of these cute jars.

The three things I most often use to recycle (or shall I say the trendy word up-cycle) containers are GOO GONE and Sprayway Glass Cleaner when hot soapy water just isn’t enough. Let’s talk about it. It’s really simple and so satisfying! I will demonstrate with some glass jars and also a candle.

1. Peel as much of the label off as possible. Sometimes it comes easy!

2. GOO GONE is the best for sticky and tacky surfaces. Use a little elbow grease and it will come right off. But if there’s too much paper on there still, the GOO GONE will have trouble removing the glue. So go to step 4 if that’s an issue.

3. Scrub the insides with hot soapy water to remove any oders from previous contents. If it’s a candle, use a knife to cut out any excess wax from the bottom (you might have to warm it up just a little in the microwave first if the wax is too hard).

4. For the stickers and labels that just don’t want to peel off easily, I use Sprayway Glass Cleaner. Cover the label with a generous spray making sure all the edges get wet and let it sit for about 10 minutes (best place to leave them is the sink as the solution drips off).

5. Wipe off remaining glass cleaner and peel again. Voila!

6. Scrape any globs of gunk left with a flat edge. Go over with GOO GONE once more if necessary.

7. Wash and dry thoroughly (best not to leave a trace of the cleaning products). Ta-da! Beautiful clean containers and jars waiting to be put to use!
The best part is you will have many more unique jars and bottles than some you might find at the store. Like the Bath & Body Works 3 wick candle! The ombré glass and filigree lid was just too pretty to throw away. Plus the rubber seal on the lid will make this perfect to store a future cosmetic recipe!

I immediately put one container to use to store a bunch of plastic snaps in my sewing room.

I have one more quick treat before I go. My favorite way to use the bottles and jars are essential oil recipes. Since I signed up for a Young Living membership for myself, I cannot believe the endless possibilities available! Because of Thanksgiving I have seen a lot of pumpkin spice recipes on my Pinterest feed. So here is my spin on a basic sugar scrub.

~Pumpkin Spice Essential Oil Sugar Scrub~

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Mix together:

  • 3/4 cup of white granulated sugar (I use Kirkland Organic Cane Sugar from Costco, a great bulk purchase by the way).
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of liquid coconut oil (melt if you only have it in a solid form).
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 to 6 drops each of Cinnamon essential oil and Clove essential oil
  • 6 drops of Thieves essential oil (I might have done 7. I just love the smell of Thieves so much I try to put it in everything!) It also has so many healing benefits, definitely my favorite oil.

Combine it all together and store in a sealed container. It smells amazing! Whether making a big batch or a small one, this would be a great homemade gift.

If you up-cycle glass containers I’d love to I hear how you use them!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Why a Craft Blog? 

Crafting is my air. Outside of my Savior Jesus Christ… and my superhero husband Kent… Oh! and my fluffy-fur-baby Meeko… where were we? Ahhh, that’s right. Now that I’ve given proper respect to the first priorities in my life, I can talk about my passion. Crafts are my O2, the thing that gives me energy. Creating little treasures, gifts and home decor fulfills me. It keeps me up at night with the question “how can I make that?” There’s nothing more satisfying than looking down at a project and saying “I made this” and deciding whom I will give it to, because gift giving is my outward love language much like my Mother and Grandmother.

Now obviously everything I have ever made has not been a total gem. I’m sure if you’ve ever picked up a paint brush or a glue stick and glitter you can relate. It’s the humor that keeps us humble. I now actually wish I had saved a picture of past “Pinterest Fails” so you can laugh with me. For instance I saw these adorable little glass vases online, they were recycled glass jars that the artist covered in decorative patterns and swirls with a hot glue gun and then dipped them in cheerful spring colors. They looked adorable and shabby chic on a windowsill. Sounds simple enough, right? I thought so too! But an hour and a half later, I sat staring down at my glass bottles amid glue and paint wondering what on earth I had done wrong. My friend walked in and in a last hopeful attempt and still in total denial I asked her what she thought. Looking back, what a terrible position to put someone in! As a kind person, who didn’t want to hurt my feelings, would do, she examined them and commented on individual aspects rather than the whole result. “They’re hideous”, I admitted. She agreed, as a real friend would, and said they weren’t my best work. And then we proceeded to laugh so hard my sides hurt. So let’s be honest, crafting can be more of an experiment than a calming experience. Fortunately, this is part of the thrill for me! There’s excitement in wondering if the DIY up-cycled EOS lip balm project will glide creamy over my lips and save me a few bucks or if it will melt in a puddle of pink-poo on my counter. Or if the first attempted hand lettered sign for my friends wedding will look just like the artsy photo online or like a second graders first calligraphy lesson. (Relieved to say both were a success by the way).

The first craft I ever remember making was when I was four or five years old. My Mom introduced me to FIMO clay, presumably after all my play dough creatures had crumbled and dried out because I had tried to save them. Often inspired by the dwarf bunnies my family bred as pets, I created little clay creatures with the help of my Mom. Being the totally biased and wonderful Mother she was, she insisted I had a natural gift for my age and encouraged me to make more, which we painted and she gave as Christmas gifts to my Gramma and Aunties. Ever since I can remember, my Mom and Gramma Porter nurtured and encouraged my creativity, and clearly made some hefty financial investments of which they may or may not have seen a return in profit or value. What love and sacrifice! Mom helped me pick out my first beads for jewelry. Gramma opened the wonders which were her fabric bins and let me pick and choose patterns to my hearts content. Mom bought me my first craft table at the old Main Street thrift store and Gramma gave me my first power tools for Christmas, a dremmel and sauntering iron. My passion would not have flourished without these women who were gifted with creativity themselves and with hearts for beauty.

As I start this blog for my crafts I couldn’t stop thinking about those clay creations. August 2013 I spent the last weeks with my dear Gramma Arlene Porter before she went to be with Jesus. The days were full of care and worry for her comfort but also sweet reminiscing. We lay on her bed together, crying and giggling. I can’t count how many times she directed me to look here or there for some odd item I had made as a child, cherished for years in her jewelry box and book shelves. There was a teeny tiny cross stitch of a peach flower put in a gold frame that I had given her, it now sits in my guest room. The last and most treasured items she pointed me to where sitting on top of her jewelry box. My clay creatures. A grey clay bunny and a white clay kitten. Rather the worse for wear after nearly twenty years, but still recognizable. “I thought you’d like to have them, I always thought they were just so cute,” Gramma said from her bed. I teared up, I couldn’t believe she still had them. The love and nurturing of a Gramma is unmatched.

So in honor of my first craft and my dear Gramma in heaven, I dedicate this craft diary to her. I hope she’s enjoying it from heaven, floating on her angel wings.