My DIY: It’s not just for soap!

I find that soapmakers are a creative bunch. That’s usually why we start doing this, because we just like to make stuff.

So today I started thinking about all the kinds of stuff that I like to make:

Granola, it turns out, is so easy to make, tastes better than stuff in a box, and the kitchen smells great when I make it. Score! This is currently my favorite granola recipe, but search around: there are probably thousands online. I also make my own yogurt. Together? Heaven!

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I made these jam jar terrariums almost two years ago. And they’re still going strong! I just clip them back a bit as they outgrow the jar. They still brighten up my windowsill.

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Our home has a long hallway that gets a lot of traffic. When stuck for how to decorate it safely, I took an idea I saw on Instructables.com and used it as a way to put up photos that was not your usual picture frames. I love taking a moment on any given day and really noticing one of the photos.

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And I’ve tried my hand at many of the textile arts: knitting, crocheting, sewing. But my favorite by far is quilting. This is my latest, a baby quilt for Lori Nova Endres of The Nova Studio. I don’t have too much free time anymore to quilt, but I so love doing it. Thanks, Lori, for having a baby so that I had a good reason to make a baby quilt! ;-)

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Do you have the DIY bug, too? What do you like to make?

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7 thoughts on “My DIY: It’s not just for soap!

  1. Hi Ruth

    I like to make all kinds of things, but after taking your soapmaking class last December — which I thoroughly enjoyed — I decided to make my own soap mold.

    I winged it and eventually came up with a simple loaf box design. Since I didn’t want to deal with lining the box over and over with freezer paper, I decided to use HDPE liners (custom cut at TAP Plastics) for quick and easy assembly. They’re not quite as non-stick as I hoped, but I still get some pretty nice bars with minimal effort. Plus I rarely have any soap ash since I cover all four sides (no frilly tops).

    Next up, I might try to make a wire-based loaf cutter like yours… I’m tired of cutting the bars one-by-one, and want them to be uniform sizes. I’m not a welder, so I have to figure out how to make a loaf cutter that can be bolted together.

    • Hi Philip,
      Good for you! It sounds like you’re a very handy guy. I have seen wire soap cutters made out of wood frames. Try googling it and you may get some good ideas for your own design.

  2. Ruth,

    Can I come & live at your house? Seriously. I LOVE homemade granola & yogurt (are you growing your own blueberries too ;) – and I love gardening and the terrariums are such a cool no fuss hearty plant. And of course the Handmade Blanket which is lighting up my baby’s nursery with lots of Love. I can’t wait until he gets here and can recognize objects… I’m sure it will be one of his favorites (like it is mine). You are so talented. The colors you chose for the quilt are really beautiful (like your soaps!). I’m sure everyone around you is inspired by you like I am (and your students obviously are), and appreciates the many gifts you offer them.

    Your not so secret admirer,
    Lori

    p.s. My birthday is coming up soon (6/14), and if you need a gift idea, that granola you make looks like it’s gluten free too! – Hint Hint :)

    • Oh, Lori, thanks so much! I’m blushing. I just love to create things that are useful. I guess it makes me feel like I have a purpose. And your not-so-subtle hint is received, loud and clear!! :D

    • Thanks, Cassie! You are so right about the running themes in my work. But it was completely subconscious! I didn’t even notice it until the quilt was almost done: “oh hey, those brown borders look just like the brown tape design in the hallway”. Funny how the mind works. :)

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