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Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids

Unbelievable that it´s soon Halloween again! Today I am showing you how to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.

I don´t know about you, but I love Halloween even though for us it´s an imported holiday! Before the best time of the year used to be carnival. Everyone get´s dressed up, is in a good mood and we kids got tons of sweets. It´s a whole week of fun, normally starting with the women having their day, storming the town halls and taking over the regime. If you ever go to Germany on carnival Thursday as a man: do not wear a good tie, because it will be cut off! Men usually wear either their oldest ties or the ones they got as a present and don´t like at all. 🙂 The same day, we kids went from house to house singing and getting our bags filled with sweets. Then there are the street parades where they throw sweets, flowers for the women and some hand out hot red wine to the adults to warm up…

Then I moved to Spain and carnival here is totally different. Here it´s more like you see it on TV from Rio. It´s warmer, people can show more skin when dressing up and the only ones dancing are the ones taking part in the parade. And no sweets, they throw confetti instead. At least confetti doesn´t hurt when you get it on your head… But here, through a lot of British residents, Halloween get´s celebrated. And when my son started pre-school we got dressed up and joined others to go through the streets…

Back to subject. I didn´t want to write about carnival and Halloween, but how you can make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids!

Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

What´s needed:

  • A wooden slat (if possible reclaimed), big enough for you to write and decorate;
  • Sandpaper;
  • Wood stain dark; use one that is safe for earth and pets (like this one), I used Teak;
  • Acrylic paint: Black, red, white and green;
  • An old piece of cloth and gloves;
  • A piece of white chalk; optional
  • Artist brushes;
  • A few bits of inlet of an old cushion or cotton wool;
  • Liquid glue or glue gun and glue;
  • 2 screws, if your slat doesn´t have nails in like mine and
  • String or cable.
  • Optional to hang it outside: clear wood sealant.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids – step by step

I found this lovely, but very dirty piece by the bins and decided to take it home. We wanted to make some Halloween decorations for this year anyway, so this was ideal.

Looking at the slat, it had nails in which looked quite nice from the front, so I decided to just hammer them down instead of taking them out. This way, there was no need to put screws in at the back either and I could use the nails to attach the cable.

My piece was extremely dirty, so I had to give it an extremely good rub down. Even if your wood looks much better, still sand it and then clean all the dust off before starting with the next step.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - wood

I wanted to try something new with this sign, so I got an old cloth, the wood stain and the black acrylic paint out and covered the table with an old bed sheet. Next, I put some of the paint into a big bottle top, dipped the cloth into the stain and then into the paint.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - painting method

Now apply both with the cloth onto the wood in a circular motion. This way, you get an uneven coat of the colours over the wood you couldn´t achieve with a paint brush, which makes it look much better. Best, If you use a glove while doing this! I don´t like gloves, so I had stains under my fingernails for a few days after… 🙂

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - varnished

One other good side effect of this painting technique is that you don´t have to wait too long until you can continue, so your Halloween sign can be done in a day. Take the piece of chalk and pre-write the word Halloween to see if you are happy with the way it looks.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - chalk writing

Want to help protect the environment, but don´t know where to start? Download my FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life“!

Then go over the chalk with the red paint. Apply at least 2 to 3 coats. The shaky lines make it look a bit more spooky.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - writing first coat

The decorating is totally down to your own and your kids imagination. We decided to add red scratch marks, green eyes and black bats. Last add the white lines to make everything stand out more and add a 3D effect.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - bat

Before we added the smaller details, I took out the inlet of an old cushion that I stored to make a new cushion one day or maybe use for padding furniture. If you don´t have any, just go in the bathroom and get out your cotton wool. I took a few pieces, spread them and then glued them onto the wood. We used normal glue, as this way my son could glue them hisself. Plus, It´s staying inside, so it was not important that it will stick for extremely long. If you have and want to put it outside, better use a hot glue gun.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - spider web

Staying with this: if you want your sign to be outside, do the above step last! Once you are happy with the painting and the details, then apply a coat of the sealant. Let everything dry and then add the “spider webs”.

You are nearly there! 🙂

The only thing left now is to screw the screws into the back, attach the string and hang it up! Voila: you have just managed to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - finished

If you have enjoyed reading “How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids” or know someone who might be interested in this subject: Please share this post! Thank you 🙂

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial

Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on help protecting our environment? Sign up for my newsletter and receive a FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life.

You might also be interested in our Boy´s room Minecraft makeover or my DIY mosquito repelling deodorantCoasters made from bottle tops and How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin

This homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin is the product of a failed attempt to make my own shampoo! ? Well, the best things have been invented by accident. And as a shower gel it is absolutely amazing! My legs always used to pretty dry, but since using this shower gel I haven´t applied moisturizing cream once!

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself

Before diving in to how to make your own homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin, I want to explain a few things to the ingredients:

Camomile:

Camomile has anti-inflammatory properties and helps wounds to heal.

Peppermint:

Peppermint is antiseptic, helps improve blood flow and protects the skin from spots.

Rosemary:

Rosemary has also got antiseptic properties and helps to revitalize your skin.

Lavender:

Lavender is antiseptic, repels insects such as mosquitoes and it´s scent has a calming effect on your mind.

Lemon grass:

Lemon grass not only repels mosquitoes, it has cleansing and antiseptic properties and it helps your skin and tissue to re-gain firmness.

Almond oil: Careful! It needs to be sweet almond oil, not bitter almond oil!!!

Almond oil is high in minerals and vitamins A, B, D and E. It is very good for dry skin, regulates greasy skin, reduces signs of skin ageing and makes the skin feel soft and smooth.

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil is rich in minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. It has ant-bacterial properties, leaves any skin soft and smooth, moisturizes dry skin, works against spots, protects and makes skin firm.

Marseille soap:

Marseille soap helps to neutralize the PH of your skin.

Argan oil soap:

Argan oil is ideal for all skin types as it helps the skin to regulate back to it´s natural state. It keeps skin healthy and firm, plus it´s got anti-inflammatory properties.

Okay, so now I explained why I used those ingredients, let´s get started!

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

 

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin

One more thing before I begin: I don´t know how it reacts to sensitive skin, so try carefully first! Somme of the ingredients could lead to skin irritations.

Same counts for possible allergic reactions: please try a little amount first to see if you are! And if you know you are suffering from allergies, asthma, heart problems, skin conditions etc. please check with your doctor before trying this recipe!

What you need to make this homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin:

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself - ingredients

Please note that all ingredients used are natural! I just don´t write it to everything.

  • 250 ml water,
  • A pot or kettle,
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves,
  • 1 tbsp peppermint leaves,
  • A tea bag camomile,
  • A bowl,
  • 10 g / 2 tbsp Marseille soap, like this one
  • 5 g / 1 tbsp argan oil soap, I used this brand (I couldn´t find the argan oil one there, sorry. Will update when it comes)
  • A grater or kitchen knife,
  • A strainer,
  • 1 tbsp almond oil, like this one
  • 1 tbsp hard coconut oil, (in other words, not liquid) like this one
  • 10 drops lemongrass essential oil, here is a set containing all 3 if you are just starting out
  • 5 drops tea tree  essential oil,
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil and
  • A glass jar or an old shower gel bottle.

I have not put links to products in bulk on purpose. In my opinion, bulk buying is only worth it, if you then use all of it. So, try first and then you can still buy bigger later on.

Instructions:

Bring the water to boil and pour it in the bowl. Add the tea bag, rosemary leaves and peppermint leaves.

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself - step 1

Let soak for about 15 minutes. In the meantime grate the soaps or use a kitchen knife to grate off small pieces. Make sure the pieces are small, so they dissolve easily.

Add the soaps and the coconut oil and mix to dissolve them totally. Once the soaps are dissolved, filter the mix through a strainer.

Note: if the soaps don´t dissolve properly, the mix is probably too cold already. Place your bowl over a pot with water without it touching the water. Put it on your cooker at medium heat to warm everything up again. Take carefully off once everything is dissolved.

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself - after filtering

Let cool down to room temperature. Then add all the oils and stir well.

Fill the mix into a glass jar or an old shower gel bottle and let cool totally for about 12 hours before using it.

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself - after filling

Congratulations! You´ve just managed to do your own homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin!

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself

Noticed, it changed colour over night? It now has a more gel-like consistency. Little warning: it feels a bit slimy, but you should get used to it.

Very important:

Shake well before every use!

One last note that might be interesting: I´ve had a toe nail ingrown at the bottom and was thinking of having to go to see a doctor. After starting to use this shower gel, not only my skin felt so extremely soft that for weeks I couldn´t stop myself from stroking over it. The toe nail came out and is slowly moving up now! I as well noticed that my feet feel super soft and free of old skin without me removing anything.

Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on help protecting our environment? Sign up for my newsletter and receive a FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life.

You might also be interested in: 25 ways to protect the environment on a budget, Coasters made from bottle tops, our Boy´s room Minecraft makeover or my DIY mosquito repelling deodorant.

If you have enjoyed reading “Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin” or know someone who might be interested in this subject: Please share this post! Thank you

Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin; learn how to easily make it yourself

Mosquito repelling deodorant; DIY using 4 natural ingredients

Let me explain first a bit, why I decided to make a DIY mosquito repelling deodorant…

My husband and I are very conscious about the harmful chemicals that many products contain. Even more when it comes to our son. He is now nearly 8 and one of the few kids in his class not using cologne, hair gel, wax etc. We want him to grow up getting in touch with as few chemicals as possible. In my opinion, they are worse while the body is still developing.

One day, my husband spoke about exactly this to one of his customers. This customer used to work in the industry and the conversation got to deodorants at one point. He told my husband about the aluminium chlorhydrate which is contained in deodorants and has been proven to cause breast cancer, Alzheimer’s… In his words, the industry has the confirmed studies since a while, but there is obviously no interest in making these public. Now you can find much more information on this subject, but you still have to look for it yourself…

When my husband came home and told me about it, we first had a look at our deodorants and both contained it! They went straight in the bin and we went shopping

. In the supermarket, standing in front of the shelves with all the deodorants, we decided to look for the well-known brands first, then we went through the top 2 shelves… They ALL contained aluminium chlorhydrate! So we went over to the roll-on section. The whole shelf was a no… Back to the sprays we finally found 1 brand without. Just 1!!! Seeing that we both only liked the smell of one of those, w

e have both been using this one for several years now.

Starting my blog, I naturally started looking into a lot of alternatives as well and experimented with deodorants. Living in an area with lots of mosquitos, I wanted to make a mosquito repelling deodorant, to reduce product use. This one keeps you protected for at least half a day. Now let´s get to how to make the:

Mosquito repelling deodorant: In this post I show you step by step how easy it is to make your own mosquito repelling deodorant using only 4 natural ingredients!

 

DIY mosquito repelling deodorant

I promise you, it is very easy to make and does not take long.

One more thing before I begin: I don´t know how it reacts to sensitive skin, so try carefully first! My son has tried it a few times and he has been okay with it, but that still doesn´t mean anything.

Same counts for possible allergic reactions: please try a little amount first to see if you are! And if you know you are suffering from allergies, please check with your doctor before trying this recipe!

Every skin is different, so you might be protected from mosquito bites for longer of for less time.

What you need to make your mosquito repelling deodorant:

  • a big pot and a small pot that fits into the big one without touching the bottom,
  • water,
  • scales that measure to the gram,
  • spoon,
  • a glass jar (I used an empty salsa dip one),
  • 52 g coconut oil,
  • 16 g baking soda,
  • 38 g cornstarch,
  • 20 drops lemongrass essential oil (seeing that we want to avoid chemicals, get a natural oil!)

Note: I have not linked up the ingredients here as I do not want to recommend you to bulk-buy, unless you know that you will use it all. As you may know, I blog about living environmental friendly and bulk buying is only environmental friendly if you don´t throw half of what you buy away…

The original recipe of beatymunsta uses spoons and a different essential oil. I prefer grams, I feel it´s more accurate to measure, so I changed it over.

How it´s made:

Measure all your ingredients for the mosquito repelling deodorant, apart from the essential oil and keep them at hand.

Fill your glass jar with boiling water to make sure it is clean and fill some water into the big pot. Make sure the water doesn´t touch the bottom of the small pot. Then place the pot together with the small pot onto the cooker and turn the cooker on low heat. Put your coconut oil into the pot and melt it. Once it is melted, add the other ingredients apart from the essential oil. Mix well and stir until you get an even liquid consistency.

Empty the water from your glass jar and let it dry.

Turn the cooker off and take the small pot out. Let everything cool down for a bit, add the essential oil, stir again to mix it in properly.

Once you added the essential oil and have mixed it well, pour into your glass jar and let it cool. It will get harder, so you can take it out with a little wooden spoon/spatula when you need it.

I keep mine in the fridge at the moment, as it is too hot (30 degrees C in the house) here and it just turns liquid again. Just take it out about 5 minutes before you need it. If you live in a milder climate, you can probably keep it outside of the fridge. I will find out in winter…

Another warning: If you wear black clothes, you might be better off to put your clothes on before applying the mosquito repelling deodorant as it can leave small white marks. or apply a good while before putting your black clothes on. I like my black dresses, so I will definitely try to come up with a deodorant which doesn´t leave any trace… keep an eye on my posts, if you are interested. Or even better: sign up to my newsletter and be the first to find out when I have done it 🙂

A few notes to the ingredients:

Coconut oil: moisturizes your skin and prevents rashes.

Baking soda and corn starch: neutralizes smell and absorb sweat. I still sweat in the summer heat, but sweating is healthy. What I can confirm is that since using this deodorant, I don´t stink after half a day of working. I had to go back to using our normal deodorant for one day and after a few hours of physical work, I couldn´t stand the way I was stinking already.

So, yes, it doesn´t only keep your body safe from at least some chemicals, but prevents bad odors as well for quite a while.

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

25 Year Performance Warranty

Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on help protecting our environment? Sign up for my newsletter or download the FREE pdf 15 Tips on Starting a Greener Life.

You might also be interested in: 25 ways to protect the environment on a budget, Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1, DVD-Shelves made from pallets, Coasters made from bottle tops or my doormat from plastic bags.

Mosquito repelling deodorant: In this post I show you step by step how easy it is to make your own mosquito repelling deodorant using only 4 natural ingredients!

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part I

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1; In this part I show you how to make your own Creeper lamp and Minecraft shelf

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part I

My son LOVES Minecraft and anything to do with it… That´s why we decided to give his room a Minecraft makeover.

It all started when my mum found a picture on Pinterest of a Minecraft crochet blanket. Unfortunately it was one of those that lead to absolutely nothing… One was leading to Google search from where it was leading us back to Pinterest. So my mum, brilliant as she is with anything knitting and crochet, decided to give it a try anyway. She made all the squares needed and laid them out in the order she thought looked best… but her grandson walked in and started to reorder them all straight away :o) Seeing that is was his, it stayed like that, so if you find it looking a bit odd with most red pieces together, blame my son :o)

I will have to get my mum to sit down with me and write down instructions on how to do the blanket… This will be Part II then. Same counts for the TNT cushion and the Enderman. And maybe some more things that we might have added until then. Curtains will be on part 2 as well, but they are not finished yet.

Now in summer I am extremely busy in my day job, so part 2 will most likely come in September. I will try to have it up sooner, if possible.

When my mum finished the blanket and the cushion, we started emptying the bedroom, because we wanted to change the position of the bed as well. For this, I took one of his shelves off as well. I wanted to apply a coat of clear paint to the top as it was terrible to dust… Here the idea was born of us painting the shelf together in a Minecraft theme. My son chose the creeper, the TNT, the diamond blocks and originally wanted a diamond sword and axe, but there wasn´t enough space left, so we changed it to parts of obsidian blocks.

But before we got to paint the shelf, we stumbled over a green light in a charity shop. Me and my mum straight away had the idea to make a creeper lamp!

How to make a creeper lamp yourself

You need:

  • an old lamp, best with a green base. If not, you can easily paint it.
  • green fabric,
  • black felt fabric,
  • needles,
  • hem tape and
  • an iron

Instructions:

Try and find some green fabric as leftover or maybe you have got some at home you can re-use/re-purpose… I get smaller bits of fabric often from the local market. There is one store selling curtain fabrics with a corner of “leftovers”. I think it is a very good idea, specially if you don´t need meters of it.

Wrap the green fabric around the lamp shade to measure how much you need and place the needles so you know where to cut if you have too much. Dont worry, if it overhangs at the bottom.

Now take the ham tape, measure the length you need to fold the top and bottom over, so they look good, and cut it. Next measure the height.

Lay the green cloth out in front of you and cut the squares you need for the creeper from the black felt fabric. Once cut, place them onto the green fabric, cut hem tape for the squares and warm up your iron according to the instructions of the tape. “Glue” the squares on, then do the top and bottom rim before closing the green cloth.

Once closed, all you need to do is pull it over the lamp shade and you got your own creeper lamp!

Pretty easy, wasn´t it? Plus, it looks great!

Next, I explain to you, how my son and I created the shelf for his Minecraft room.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Creeper lamp

 

Minecraft shelf

Now, you might have wondered, why we painted the bottom of the shelf and not the top. Painting the bottom seems outright crazy, doesn´t it?

The shelf is hanging pretty high in the bedroom and painting the top, nobody would have seen it. Plus, shelves normally are filled on the top. That´s why we decided to paint the underneath and showcase our work to everyone entering the room.

What you need:

  • Wooden shelf (Maybe you already have one in the room you can use or one stored away?),
  • Acrylic paint (colours depending on motives you choose), here is a set, if you don´t have any at home
  • Flat 3 inch (80 cm) paint brush,
  • Flat artist brush for the squares,
  • Ruler,
  • Soft pencil,
  • Clear sealant (I have linked to a water based eco-friendly, kids safe version here because I think, it is all round the best option)

Instructions

To start off, measure the width and length of your shelf and mark the middle lengthwise with a little dot. Now you can calculate how many squares you can paint onto the shelf. In our case it was 4 full squares and I decided, it would look better to have 2 small bits instead of 1 odd bit. Draw lines to mark your squares, but don´t press too hard with the pencil or the line will show through.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf Step 1

Next decide what Minecraft characters and/or blocks you want to paint. It´s up to you, if you want to paint everything yourself or want to get your kid/s involved further than the decision on what to paint. I can only tell you that we had a lot of fun together and the excitement of putting it up was much bigger for both of us.

Want to help protect the environment, but don´t know where to start? Download my FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a greener life“!

First paint the base colour of your squares. We started with 2 coats of the bright blue, white and green. Then we painted the red for the TNT and then the black for the letters, the creeper and the obsidian. Here it´s up to you, if you want the base shining through a bit or if you paint 2 coats. Remember to wait a little before applying a second coat and other colours on top.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf Step 2

Our lines are not totally straight and the letters are a bit off-center, but that´s okay. At least you can see that we done it together and I didn´t expect perfection.

Don´t forget to clean out your brushes when starting a new colour.

Last, we painted the dark blue and grey squares, although we started some dark blue squares before, but I recommend you to first finish the black. We didn´t have grey, so I mixed it. Looking at the pictures, I should have used a bit more white as the grey doesn´t really show on them… With the squares, remember that in the game they are not totally even and more shades than we paint. So try to go thicker and thinner with your coats in places. This seems to be easier for a kid than for an adult… ;o)

Once you finished the little squares, let all the paint dry and apply the sealant.

When the sealant is dry, you can put it up and start enjoying it.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf finished

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to upload your own Minecraft versions either in the comments or send me a picture by email (tjalva tjalvasdiy.com). I would love to see them!

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

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Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on helping to protect our environment? Sign up for my Newsletter and download my FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life.

You might also be interested in: DVD-Shelves made from pallets, Coasters made from bottle tops or my doormat from plastic bags.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1; In this part I show you how to make your own Creeper lamp and Minecraft shelf

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