How to: Thai Herbal Massage Ball (Valentine’s Day Fun!)

IMG_8698

We love anything romantic and Valentine’s Day is really just an excuse for pure, unadulterated romance.  Over the years we have shared our tutorials for sexy ribbon panties and our heart garland.  But this year we are sharing perhaps our favourite tutorial ever.

These Herbal Balls are a dream and a wonderful surprise for your lover on Valentine’s Day…. I spent five days in Kuala Lumpur having time out by myself a few years ago and had a two hour massage with these balls each day. Bliss. I still dream of that holiday.

I finally decided to make some and share the love with you. These balls take massage to a whole new level.  They are surprisingly easy to make.  When I made this batch I made four with the ingredients I had, used one and froze the rest.   You can use each ball three to four times.    What a romantic treat for V-Day!  A massage with one of these is bound to please!

Ingredients

IMG_8649 1 handful Kaffir Lime Leaves

4 Lemongrass stalks

1 large root of Galangal (Thai ginger)

1 large root of Ginger 1 large root of Turmeric root

1 handful Mint Rind of 3 Limes Rind of 1 Lemon

Materials

A good knife A food processor (use a knife to finely chop if you don’t own one) Unbleached

Calico Elastic hair tie or rubber bands

Scissors

1. Chop the roots and lemongrass into small chunks.  Rinse the kaffir lime leaves and mint in water.

IMG_8653

2. Cut the rind from the limes and lemons (keep the fruit in a bag in the fridge for cooking)

IMG_8659

3. Place all ingredients into a food processor on high for two minutes or until all the ingredients are finely chopped and mixed together. (Ahhhh the amazing aroma….. take a moment to enjoy).

IMG_8662

4. Rip or cut a 30cm square of unbleached calico and place a 3/4 cup of the ingredients into the middle.

IMG_8671

5. Gather all four corners of calico together and wrap the calico tightly over the herbs.

IMG_8672

6. Tie an elastic hair tie or band around the fabric, wrapping the herbs as tightly as you can into a ball.

IMG_8678

7. Rip a one inch strip of calico and secure it on top of the ball with a knot.  Wrap the stalk with it tightly and secure with another knot.  The stalk needs to be firm enough to get a good grip.

IMG_8692  Now you are finished your Thai Herbal Ball.  There are two things left to do.  Before you use it go and watch a video on Youtube about how to massage using one.

IMG_8698

Then, when you want to use it, microwave until it is warm and the oils and aromas fill the room.  This is amazing,  it is the most relaxing massage I could imagine.

If you like this, Pin it and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and spread the Valentine’s Day love…..

How To: Gorgeous Christmas Wreaths (3 Ways)

wreathTITLE

This is our second wreath tutorials.  Our first, to Make a Felted Wreath is here.  post will show you how to make a very easy and fun Christmas wreath using a foam circle. We found that the most difficult part of this was working out how to wrap it which is why we are showing you three techniques.  Once it is covered, it is easy to decorate with anything you have at home. This is a great way to use up the scraps you already have at home and is a very inexpensive way to make your home ready for Christmas.  We found that the most difficult part of this was working out how to wrap it which is why we are showing you three techniques.  Once it is covered, it is easy to style with crafty bits you have at home.

wreath1Materials

1 Foam Circle
Scraps of fabric: leather, cotton, hessian
Pins
Wool or string in a great colour
Bits and bobs including: Pompons, bells, beads, chain, flowers, stars, feathers, tassels etc

Techniques for Covering the Wreath

1. Leather and String

This gives a very modern and funky look and is so easy to do.   Just wrap the leather scraps around the wreath and then bind it on with the string.  When you reach the end of one scrap, tuck the beginning of another under it and keep going until the whole wreath is covered.  To secure it, tie a double knot with the string.

wreath2

wreath3

When it is finished attach your trinkets to it for a great wreath.

wreath4

2. Fabric Mounds

This method is very easy but takes some time. It’s a great way to use scraps and gives a lovely, soft, textured look. For this method you can also use hessian, make sure to use a fabric with some hold in it so that it stands up.

Firstly, cut your fabric into 4″ x 4″ squares.

wreath5

Fold a fabric square in half, so that it makes a triangle.

wreath6

Fold one corner into the middle in the front.

wreath7

Fold the other corner into the middle, but at the back this time.  Secure with a pin in the middle (as in photo below).

wreath8

Keeping the pin in the same place, pin the fabric onto the foam ring.  Swivel the fabric to the side (this hides the pin) and puff it up.

wreath9

Repeat this process, pinning the fabric onto the wreath, next to each other. You will need two lines of fabric on the wreath, one of top and one on the bottom, to cover it (as in photo below).

wreath10

3. Fabric Strip Wrapping

This method is easy and really effective for a more minimalist look. Rip your fabric into long strips. Secure it to the foam with one pin at the end and then wrap it tightly, making sure the edges don’t curl too much. The edge of the fabric should overlap so that no foam shows. Flatten them out as you go. When you have reached the end use another pin to secure it.

wreath11

Styling your Wreath

This is really the fun part! Your imagination is the limit here. Raid your scraps and use what you have. Put them together in wonderful new ways and design your masterpiece.

wreath15

Tips for Styling your Wreath

  • Using three colours looks fabulous. Choose one neutral (grey) and two colourful colours.  You can then use different shades in all of these colours and it will still look balanced.  For example if you choose pink, you can use rose pink, bright pink, light pink and flouro pink.
  • Focusing your embellishments on the right hand bottom side of the wreath makes it look great.  Off centre gives it a more modern and interesting look.
  • Anything in threes looks good.
  • Not all your adornments need to be Christmassy.  Add Christmas touches using baubles, tree ornaments, stars etc.
  • Fluorescent colours look great against a neutral background as they really pop.
  • Balance the colour at the top.  On this wreath I have balanced the fluoro pink by wrapping some around the top left hand side and then placing a star on the other side to balance that.
  • Use any techniques you already know.  The fabric leaves I made are a technique learned making Kanzashi Tsunami (these are found in my book).

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  If you like it, Pin it and if you like us, Like Us on Facebook and tweet the heck out of it.  Thanks.  Stay tuned for more tutorials for Christmas and search up our other tutorials in our categories on the right hand side.

wreath13

wreath12

How To: Have Blonde Hair (Naturally)

541475_10151535615634859_545964310_n My hair has gone from being white blonde as a child and teen to darker blonde as an adult, to blonde with highlights, with a frightening black and brunette phase in between, that marked the troubling end of a relationship.
There’s no way around it.  Blonde is a high maintenance hair colour and can easily end up looking awful.  Highlighting your hair blonde is difficult to maintain and can be expensive. The way I stay blonder has changed over the last six months, since I no longer use chemicals or visit the hairdresser to have my hair chemically treated. I now have my hair cut at home by and colour it myself.
Note:  If you have dark brown or black hair, I do not recommend these tips as they may not work or may produce a terrible result. This post is really for people with dark to medium blonde hair who are just highlighting their hair, not dramatically changing its colour.

995484_10151811099959859_542730047_nTechniques to Lighten Hair Naturally

1. Mix 2 tablespoons of raw honey (which contains natural peroxide) with 2 tablespoons of Bicarbonate soda. Apply the paste to the roots of your hair first with a brush then down to the ends. Heat helps to activate the Hydrogen Peroxide, so use a blow dryer on your hair on low for about ten minutes. It can get sticky but there are no chemicals which is a serious plus. After 20 – 30 minutes, rinse hair and wash as normal. This is also a powerful conditioner and your hair will glow and be really soft. (I do this once a fortnight, especially on my roots).
2. For a more honey blonde look, follow the method in No. 1 but also mix in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon which also has powerful hair lightening properties.
3. Mix 2 tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide (6%) (available at your pharmacy) with a cup of water. Place the liquid into a spray bottle and spray it on your hair every few days, making sure that you do the roots first and avoid the ends. This lightens the hair gradually and tends to keep natural highlights which look great. It does have a tendency to dry out the hair so if you are prone to dry hair use it once a week only. Once again, it needs to be activated with heat so hang out in the sun or put a hairdryer on your hair for about ten minutes.
4. Juice 2 lemons and pour into a spray bottle with with a teaspoon of bicarb soda, ¼ cup water and add a vitamin E capsule (or ½ teaspoon of Vitamin E) to condition the hair. Spray onto the hair and spend time out in the sun or ten minutes with a hairdryer. If you are going to the beach and hoping to go lighter, put this in your hair before you go. Remember to condition the hair when you are finished.
5. The easiest way to go blonde is to spend a lot of time at the beach in summer. The sun and sea water act to form a powerful bleaching agent. Where we live, even those with darker hair, tend to have sunkissed highlights in summer. But this does dry out your hair and conditioning is necessary.

Techniques to Maintain your Blonde (Naturally)

Now you are blonder, this colour also requires maintenance so that it doesn’t go brassy, bright yellow or even green.

  1. Leave-In Blonde Rinse for your hair.  Boil the kettle, place three chamomile tea bags into a mug with the boiling water.  Wait for the water to cool.  Place into a spray bottle and spray on the hair after washing and conditioning it.  Don’t rinse this off.  The effects are very subtle once again.
  2. Use a homemade purple shampoo and conditioner.  Place about a teaspoon of purple food colouring for every cup of shampoo (natural and organic of course).  The shampoo will be bright purple.  Shampoo your hair as normal with your purple shampoo, but leave the shampoo on for about 3 minutes (or longer).  This is an excellent way to tone down brassiness.  I use this every time I shampoo.  You can also add purple food colouring to your conditioner and use in the same way.  Please exercise caution with this and do a strand test before you use it.  I would not want your hair to turn purple.  My hair is very porous and it has never happened to me.
  3. If you spend a lot of time in Chlorinated pools (yuck I can’t stand them), your blonde hair will tend to go green.  Mum spent a lot of time with three very blonde children (and one brunette), trying to keep our hair from going fluro green.  The best remedy is tomato ketchup.  Cover the hair, particularly the ends in tomato ketchup and leave in for twenty minutes, then wash the hair as normal.  The red counteracts the green and leaves the hair blonde again.
  4. Place a shower filter on your shower head.  I love my shower filter which filters out the Chlorine and makes sure that my hair stays blonder.  (Note: I am also highly allergic to Chlorine which is why I have the shower filter).

27121_10151571341199859_1356352631_nHow to Keep Blonde Hair Conditioned

Besides being a difficult colour to maintain, blonde hair tends to be dry. Maybe because people who are blonde tend to be fair skinned and have fair eyes and dry skin, dry hair. Blonde hair needs to receive a lot of conditioning to stay in good condition. Here are some of my favourite ways to condition my blonde hair.
1. Raw Honey Mask. As Mentioned, this also lightens the hair. Cover the hair in raw honey, place a towel in the dryer for a few minutes until it is warm and then wrap your hair in the towel and leave for half an hour. Wash the honey out, your hair will smell, feel and look beautiful.
2. Coconut Oil. I love coconut oil and have been using it on my dry hair and skin for about six years. It is amazing and is used frequently by women all over India to keep their hair in perfect condition. Cover your hair in coconut oil and wrap in a warm towel for half an hour before you wash it. Also before you go to the beach, lightly coat your locks in coconut oil. It has some sunscreen properties so will protect your hair from the sun and will keep it moisturised.
3. Olive Oil. Olive oil is great when your hair is seriously dry as in summertime. Comb a light covering of olive oil over your hair and sleep with it in. You will need to cover your pillow with a towel to protect. Or cover your hair in olive oil half an hour before you wash it. It is great for tangles in really long hair.
4. Have the ends cut regularly. About every six weeks have your hair trimmed. This will keep the ends fresh so they don’t break off.
5. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. After washing and conditioning your hair, rinse your hair in raw apple cider vinegar and water. The ratio is 1:1. Leave it in for a minute and then rinse it off. This leaves your hair soft and incredibly conditioned.

I hope these Blonde Tips have been helpful. If you like this Pin or Tweet it. And return to One Hour Craft for more natural haircare and beauty tips. If you have anything to add, please comment on our Facebook page.

How To: Chai Cleaning & Room Spray

chaispray6Thinking about the Christmas season, we were trying to figure out how to make a scent that smelled like Christmas.  A candle, mulled wine, a pomander, sachets…. Then we came up with the idea of Chai scented Cleaning & Room Spray.

We love scents of all kinds and particularly the cinnamon chai and Spekulaas scents and don’t use chemicals in our homes, so this is perfect.  It smells so good and has lasted in my home for more than a day now.  And it cleans perfectly well.  When you spray it you will smell a slight vinegar odour (depending on how long you have left it to seep).  This disappears in a minute and you are left with a moreish, sweet, spicy aroma.

The first cleaning spray we made was our Orange Power Cleaner which is amazing for cutting grease.  And be sure to try out this Chai Spray which helps your house to smell like Christmas.

Materials

600ml Cleaning Vinegar

2 Cinnamon scrolls

5 Dried Mandarin Pieces (optional, bought from Asian foodstores)

1 inch Fresh Ginger Root (chopped into pieces)

4 Star Aniseeds

1 tbs Whole Cloves

1 Nutmeg grated

Chaispray1

Method

1. Pour the vinegar into a saucepan.  Add the spices to the vinegar.  Simmer the liquid for 20 minutes.

chaispray2

2. Take the liquid off the heat and allow to cool.

3. Strain the liquid into a bowl to use straight away or pour the liquid and all the spices into a mason jar and let it seep for a few days.

chaispray3

4. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle ready to use.

chaispray4

5. Use a marker to clearly label the liquid to add it to your other natural cleaning and home products.

The spices can be used to make another batch.  Use the spray to clean benches, toilets, walls, kitchen or any surface that it dirty or grimy.  Or use it as a room spray, spray it a few times into the air and wait for the scent to fill the room.

This makes an excellent gift for people who already have everything.  We’ve not seen or heard of it before so it is definitely unique.  If you like this, hover over the image and Pin It.  If you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and tell your mates.

Come back for many more chemical-free, delicious, natural home products and for lots more Christmas goodness.

chaispray5

 

How To: Cinnamon + Brown Sugar Face Scrub (Organic)

facescrub

We have been using this scrub for our faces and bodies for a few years now.  This is the third in our Eco Friendly Series, potions and lotions which are not only good for you, being chemical-free, but are also gentle on Mother Earth.  Our first post was for the home, the gorgeous Orange Power Cleaner and our second post was for All-Natural Moisturising Bars.

Sugar is not good for your insides and we try to steer away from it.  But it is great as a scrub for your skin, not too harsh and not too gentle.  It is great for getting rid of dead skin cells and leaving skin shiny and soft.  The other ingredients also work wonders on your skin.  Until you wash it off this scrub will make you smell like a cinnamon bun.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar (Organic)

1/4 cup Light Olive Oil (Organic)

2 Tbs Sea Salt

4 Tbs Cinnamon (Organic)

facescrub2

facescrub3

Method

1.  Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir them together.  (Very simple).  The consistency should be not too oily, it should be crumbly in your fingertips.

 

facescrub4

2. Place scrub in an airtight container to be kept in the shower recess.

3. To use just take a dessertspoon full of scrub, add some water and gently rub it into the skin, then wash it off with warm water.

Please join us again for more Eco Friendly Lotions and Potions, and if you like it Pin It and if you like One Hour Craft, like us on Facebook.

facescrub5

How To: Moisturising Bars (All Natural)

moisturisingbars

We have been making lotions and potions for a long time.  We love the way these bars turned out, silky soft with a beautiful smell that lies somewhere between chocolate and honey.  They are made from all natural and organic ingredients and can be used on the body and on the face.  To use them, just rub them onto the skin and the heat of your skin will melt some of the bars, then rub it in.

These bars and so easy to make and the ingredients are a lot less expensive than buying expensive, chemically-laden moisturisers.  We spent about $30 on ingredients (things like this are more expensive in Australia than in USA) and it took us only about ten minutes to complete them.  Kids can join in when making these as they are really easy.

Materials & Ingredients

4 Dessertspoons Beeswax (either in a bar or in little beads)

4 Dessertspoons Cacao butter

4 Dessertspoons Coconut Oil

Silicon Cooking Moulds or any other moulds

Mixing bowl (microwave proof)

Grater

Spoon

moisturisingbar

 

Method

1. Grate beeswax (4 dessertsspoons) into a bowl

moisturingbar22. Put the beeswax into the bowl and put it in the microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes or until it is completely melted.  We stopped the microwave a few times and stirred it.

3. Add the cacao butter and and coconut oil to the bowl.  Microwave it again for 1 minute on high or until all the ingredients are melted.  Stir the ingredients to make sure they are mixed.
moisturisingbar2

4. Pour the liquid carefully into the moulds.

moisturisingbar3

5. Place the moulds into the fridge overnight.  When they have become solid and a yellow colour, press them out of the moulds and store in an airtight container.

Due to the heat in Australia, we set these bars in the fridge and will keep them in an airtight container the fridge.  A lot of our cosmetics are stored in this way in the fridge during the summer months or expensive lipsticks often melt and are ruined.  This recipe is a basic recipe and can be adapted easily to make many different bars.  We will be bringing you more in the coming months.

Please note that this recipe was originally taken from Wellness Mama.

moisturisingbar4

Inspiration: Island Design (Part Two)

islanddesign14

Selamat Pagi! This is the second post from our recent ten days spent on a few tiny Indonesian islands. We were totally inspired by the simplicity of design and the natural materials used. The use of everyday materials such as wood, sand, bamboo, banana leaves etc was amazing. The beauty was raw and not overthought. The effect was calming and light.

If you would like to read our first post on Island Design, it is here. And come back next week for our third Island Design post.  The next one is a little different and more colourful.

islanddesign

islanddesign1

islanddesign2islanddesign4

islanddesign5

islanddesign6

islanddesign8

islanddesign11

islanddesign3

How To: Orange Power Cleaner (All Natural)

orangecleaner

In the past two years, we have tried to get rid of all the chemical products in our homes and replace them with natural, eco-friendlier and organic products.  This has not been difficult as I grew up in a home with a mum who never liked chemicals.

This cleaner is really easy to make and can be made even with older oranges, like these.  It is very quick to put together and then takes two weeks to ‘brew’.  In that time all it needs is a little shake every now and then.  This cleaner is great for cleaning ovens, bench tips.  The orange oil in it helps to remover the grime.  Once you are in the habit of taking your lemon, orange, lime peels and just throwing them into a waiting mason jar, this process is really easy to continue, ensuring that you have cleaner for your needs and maybe some as gifts.

Materials

1 Mason Jar with Lid

Cleaning Vinegar (available at any supermarket with the cleaning products)

5 or 6 oranges

Knife

Juicer

Spray bottle (for finished product)

orangecleaner1

Method

1. Cut your oranges in half.

orangecleaner22. Squeeze the oranges to make orange juice…. and then drink it.
orangecleaner4

3. Chop the orange rinds into smaller pieces and stack them in the mason jar.

orangecleaner5

orangecleaner64. Cover the jar with cleaning vinegar and seal it with the lid.  Give the liquid a quick shake and leave it on a shelf in the pantry or another handy spot, for two weeks.  Give the jar a quick shake once in a while.

5. After two weeks, strain the liquid into a spray bottle and get cleaning.  You can leave the rinds in the mason jar and just pour vinegar over the top again or start with fresh rinds.

When we use this our home smells like fresh oranges.  Please join us here again as this is the first post of many more eco-friendly tutorials for the home, the body and the face.  If you like this Pin It, and if you Like us, like us on Facebook.  Thanks.
orangecleaner7