How to Make Stuff

Do you want to find something new and interesting to do?  Learn how to make something!  You’ll love the feeling of accomplishment this will give you.  And exploring your creative self can be a great way to take your mind away from daily issues.  If you’re trying to quit smoking, or counting your calories, or even if you’re recovering from a broken heart, putting your mind and hands to work on a new project might be just what the doctor ordered.

How to Make StuffLearning how to make soap is very popular.   You’re not going to make the hard blocks of unattractive, strictly functional soap you remember from your childhood.  They almost always contained lye, and making it requires safety equipment to protect your skin and eyes.  Today’s soaps are pretty and scented, made from a glycerin base.  They come in many shapes, so they serve as bathroom décor as often as they are used for actual washing.  You can help your kids make soap bombs for their baths.  You can also pour your soap into a bread pain where you’ve placed a loofah—when it dries, you slice it up and you have individual little loofah soaps!

Many people who make soap expand into lotions, lip balms, elbow and knee crèmes, and body bronzers.  Emulsifying wax is a key ingredient.  Proper portion among all the ingredients is important.  With these products, as with soaps, you choose colors and fragrances to suit your style.

Candles are something else that you can use in your home or make as gifts.  When learning how to make candles, the two first things you must learn are to always protect your drain, because if you spill melted wax into it you’ll have quite a plumber’s bill.  The second thing is that wax is quite flammable, and you should never melt it without using a thermometer.  Accessories like the thermometer and pouring cups can come from the dollar store. Some people enjoy candle making because it is difficult to find candles with enough perfume in them.  Or they prefer a specific scent that is always paired with a color that doesn’t match their home décor.  For example, apple-cinnamon candles are always a shade of red, but once you’ve scented your own products you can dye them blue if that’s the dominant color in your living room.

Some people enjoy making their own greeting cards.  Explore the software on your computer; you’ll find a wealth of templates.  You can use perforated or pre-folded cardstock for these crafts.   Search places like Flickr or FreeDigitalPhotos on the internet and learn how to cut and paste images onto your templates.  People love receiving personalized, custom-made birthday cards, and considering the cost of store-bought cards you’ll save lots of money.  An extension of this is creating calendars, complete with family photos for each month, distributed to everyone at holiday times.

Learning how to make jigsaw puzzles is not as difficult as it sounds.  Whether you’re making something for a child or a puzzle for an adult aficionado, it’s fun to choose the picture you’ll use.  Use paper that’s not too flimsy, and then you can decide on foam, wood, or heavy cardboard for the backing.  You can learn how to make the picture adhere to the backing, how to use mounting spray, and how to avoid air bubbles.  Then you can cut using a utility knife or a scroll saw.

Creating something out of nothing can be as simple as buying inexpensive resin figurines—penguins, angels, snowmen—at the dollar store.  Ask your friends and coworkers to save jelly jars for you.  Glue the figurines so that they stand up on the underside of the lids.  After carefully washing the jar and removing its label, fill it with water and sprinkle plenty of glitter into it.  Replace the lid on the jar and turn it upside down—you have a snow globe!  Glue the lid so that it can’t be removed, and apply lace trim to the bottom.  You can teach your children how to make these for holiday gifts for teachers and friends.

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