Lard and Olive Oil Soap

This past fall, Spring, a good friend of my daughter-in-law, Wendy, butchered a pig and was kind enough to give me the fat.  Thank you again, Spring!

crockpot renderingI rendered the fat into a white, beautiful, creamy lard.  I had never done this before, so after researching different methods of rendering lard, I decided to try two different ways to see which one I liked the best.  You can see that article here, called Rendering Lard – Two Ways.

What to do with the lard?  Make soap, of course!  Animal fat is the traditional ingredient in soap, using either lard or tallow (tallow is beef fat), along with olive oil, which makes a wonderful hard bar of soap called Castile.

After reading numerous books on soapmaking and watching dozens of You Tube videos, I felt like I was ready to try.  I was a bit leery of the whole lye bit, but decided to take a deep breath and jump on the soapmaking bandwagon anyway!

The first thing I had to do wasDIY Wooden Soap Mold gather all the equipment, which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a whole lot.  My dear husband made me a beautiful adjustable soap mold (you can see the directions on how to make one HERE) and I also bought PVC pipe with two end caps to make a round soap.

My first experiment was with the round soap mold.  I used the soap lye calculator at brambleberry.com (easy to use) and printed out my recipe.  I decided to use olive oil along with the lard because olive oil is known to make a gentle and mild-to-the-skin bar of soap that cures into a hard bar that won’t melt too fast in water.    Besides, one of the reasons for making my own soap is self sufficiency, and we will be planting olive trees this spring, so we will have our own source for olive oil in a few years.

Here is the recipe I used:  Recipe for Lard and Olive Oil Soap

First, I gathered all my materials.  Since my tap water has both chlorine and fluoride, I decided to go with the distilled water.  When we move up to our future homestead (soon!) I will use either well water or rainwater to make my soaps.  The olive oil I used came from a family friend who produces olive oil from his own orchard, because I knew it was pure. Thanks Ken!  I was able to find the lye at a local farm and feed store, which was lucky because I understand that lye is hard to find nowadays due to it’s use in making methamphetamines.  My digital kitchen scale worked perfect as did my digital kitchen thermometer.  My daughter-in-law sells doTERRA essential oils and has gifted me with several different oils, so I decided to use the lavender essential oil for my first batch of soap.  Lavender essential oil is known for it’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as it’s ability to calm, decrease depression and induce sleep!  For more information about essential oils, you can visit my daughter-in-law’s website HERE.  I am not an affiliate of doTERRA, but have come to really appreciate the quality of their oils.

How to make lard and olive oil soap

Ingredients all lined up and ready to go (minus the olive oil and lard). The vinegar is standing by to neutralize any possible splashes of lye.

Here we go:  The first thing I did was line my mold with waxed paper.  Easy enough!  The round mold sits upright on it’s own, which is a very good thing!  Then (deep breath), I measured the water and the lye separately and separately took both outside.  I carefully added the lye to the water.  Important!  Never add water to lye!  I’m not sure what happens, but this is a warning I see on every soaping website and tutorial I have ever seen, and this is one experiment I DO NOT want to try!  In fact, I was so nervous this first time pouring the lye into the water, that I read the instructions over and over just to make sure I was doing it right!  Plus, I did it outside so I wouldn’t be exposed to any noxious fumes!  I didn’t get a picture of this part because I was so nervous I forgot!  ;)

Olive oil and Lard Soap TutorialNext, I melted the lard and added the olive oil.  I was just a bit nervous at this point because my lard smelled just a bit “piggy”.  I’m not sure if it was because it had been frozen for a while (which might have brought out the scent) or just melting it brought out a stronger smell, but there it was.  Hmmmm…….

Trudging ahead, when the lye water got to about 125 degrees and the lard/olive oil mixture was the same, I brought in the lye and carefully (so it wouldn’t splash) poured it into the lard/olive oil mixture.  Now I am glad I got such a large stainless steel pot, because the lye did splash just a bit, but the drops didn’t make it even half way up the pot!  I carefully used my plastic spoon to gently mix everything together, then with my stick blender on low, began carefully mixing.

The clear lye water and the clear but yellow lard/olive oil mixture turned a creamy antique white color almost immediately!  Lo and behold, within a minute or two of mixing, the “piggy” smell went away also!   So now I had to mix everything with the stick blender anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, or until I had achieved “trace”.  Of course, other than in pictures and in videos I had never actually, in person, seen trace before, so I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t know exactly what that was.  Well, let me tell you, you will know what trace is when you see it!  It’s similar to jelly making from scratch.  When a drop or two of the soap holds it’s shape on the surface of the soap, or if you turn off the stick blender and draw it across the soap and it leaves a “wake” behind it, you have achieved “trace”.  That’s the time to add anything else you are putting into the soap, like colorants, herbs, essential oils, etc., so I added the doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil at this point, turned on the stick blender and blended for another minute or so.  The soap was starting to get pretty thick by now (like a stiff pudding), so I knew it was time to get it into the mold.

Actually, I think I waited too long.  It was no longer pourable, so I had to spoon it into the mold.  Easier said than done at this point, since the round mold I was using had only a 3 inch opening!

** Note to self **

Get a good plastic or stainless steel funnel for pouring soap into the round mold!

DIY Lard and Olive Oil Soap

After the bottom of the mold was pried off, the soap just slipped out of the PVC mold.  This is a picture of the soap before the waxed paper was peeled off.

Done!  :D  I was so excited!  I didn’t burn myself or destroy anything with the lye.  I did it!  Wahoo!  I couldn’t wait to see how the soap turned out!  But I had to. :(    The instructions say to leave the soap in the mold for 24 to 48 hours.  I decided to go half way and open at about 36 hours.  The soap stuck a little bit to the bottom lid, but once I was able to pry it off, the soap slid easily out of the mold!  Now all I had to do was peel off the waxed paper (easier said than done) and cut the soap into bars.

How to make Lard and Olive Oil Soap

This picture was taken right after the soap was cut, and you can see the different colors in the soap. It reminded me of a cup of latte with a fat decorative pine tree on top! Do you see it? No worries, however, because as the soap cured, it all turned the same shade of white!

I ended up with ten 1″ bars of soap out of this batch.  I then tried stamping designs into the soap with some Stampin’ Up stamps, but I think I may have waited too long to unmold the soap, because it was already getting pretty hard!  I was able to get a slight impression into each bar, however.  Next time I will unmold after just 24 hours.

For my next lard soap, I decided to add in a bit of coconut oil, wild orange essential oil and chai tea.

How to make soap from lard and olive oil

I won’t write all the details, as most of the procedure I followed for this soap were the same as for the first soap.  However, I used 100 grams of the water to make a strong chai tea using four tea bags.  This was added to the lard/olive oil/coconut oil mixture after the lye water was already stirred in.  Supposedly this preserves the scent of the chai tea.  I also added a total of 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cardamom, and this was all mixed with the stick blender until I reached trace.  Once the soap was at trace, I added the actual contents of the tea bags (that’s what all the speckles in the tea are about) and 10 drops of doTerra Wild Orange Essential Oil.

Chai tea and orange Soap

These are the ingredients used in my Chai tea and Wild Orange lard soap.

Let me tell you, the smell was amazing!  It smelled like sitting by a warm fireplace during a rainy autumn day with friends, drinking chai tea and eating oranges!

However, next time I make this soap, I will add just a bit more of the chai spices – maybe a full teaspoon – because upon unmolding the chai scent had become very subtle.  I think I will also add 15 drops of the EO.  I originally went light on the spices because I know that some can be an irritant to skin, but jeeze louise, one teaspoon in a two pound batch of soap shouldn’t be too much.  Right?

How to make soap with Lard

After slipping the soap out of the mold, I peeled back the waxed paper to reveal a beautiful loaf of soap, then cut into 1″ bars. I got eleven bars of soap from this batch.

While the soap was in the mold for 24 hours, I went to my local craft store and bought one of these wavy soap cutters.  When the soap was unmolded and then cut one inch thick, I ended up with almost perfectly sized 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ bars of soap!  Oh, I forgot to mention – see all those dark specks all over the soap to the left?  Along with adding the actual chai tea to the soap, I sprinkled a bit more on the top before I covered it to cure. I thought that would make it look more fancy!

Both batches of soap are now sitting on drying racks in my crafts room so that they can cure.  I will need to cure these for 4-6 weeks before using, so that the lye is completely saponified and will not be harsh on the skin.

Olive Oil and Lard Soap DIY

The soap continues to cure (saponify) and dry on these racks for approximately 4-6 weeks.

This was so much fun, I am totally hooked and want to make some more!  So, my next experiment with making soap will be with the tallow I rendered this past fall.  I can’t wait!

Olive Oil and Lard Soap Recipe

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Here’s where the party is this week:  Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopWildcrafting Wednesday;  Wicked Awesome Wednesday;Whatever goes Wednesday; Show and Share Wednesday; Wined Down Wednesday; What We Accomplished;  Project ParadeWake Up Wednesday; Fluster’s Creative Muster; Hump Day Happenings; Homestead Blog Hop; The Blogger’s Digest; Wow Us WednesdayThe HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  Turn To ShineThe Handmade HangoutCreate it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Green Thumb Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday; All Things Thursday Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Project Parade; Inspiration Gallery; The Pin Junkie;  Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop; Eat, Create, PartyPinworthy Projects Party;Farmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday; Friday’s Five Features; Real Food Fridays; Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend; Anything Goes Linky; Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayFront Porch Friday; No Rules Weekend Party; Friday Favorites; Giggles GaloreSay G’Day SaturdaySuper Saturday; Simply Natural Saturdays; Strut Your Stuff Saturday; Saturday Sparks;  Show and Tell Saturday;  My Favorite Things;  Dare to Share; Scraptastic SaturdayFrugal Crafty Home; That DIY Party; Nifty Thrifty Sunday; DIY Sunday Showcase; Snickerdoodle Sunday;  Simple Life Sunday; Think Pink Sunday; Sunday Showcase

 

DIY Soap Molds

Do you like soap?  So do I.  Especially the ones that have a nice, creamy lather and smell fresh and clean.  You too?

Yes, I knew we would be friends! :D

Every time I go to a craft faire or farmer’s market, I seek out the booths that have those wonderfully scented, beautifully decorated soaps.  I always go for the lavender, lemon verbena or any of the naturally scented soaps. I really enjoy talking with the soapmaker about what is actually in the soap, and have paid anywhere from 3 to 8 dollars for a bar of soap, and was glad to pay it!

So it was a natural progression that I would try to make some myself.  But first, I needed some basic equipment, including a soap mold!

Make your own wooden soap mold

You can use just about anything as a soap mold – old shoeboxes, food boxes, milk cartons and loaf pans. All that is needed is waxed paper or parchment paper to line the container!

Naturally, I did a lot of research in books and on the web, and found that I could use just about any bread loaf pan, shoebox or plastic food container to use as my soap mold, as long as it was carefully lined with waxed paper or parchment paper.

Then I found this website at Lowes:  http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/woodworking-and-crafts/easy-to-make-soap-molds/project

It shows how to make a round soap mold out of PVC pipe and a loaf type mold out of wood.

The round soap mold is easy peasy – just buy a foot or two length of 3″ (inside diameter measurement) PVC pipe and two end caps.  In the picture, you see the white PVC pipe and end caps.  I bought my PVC at Home Depot because they have 2 foot lengths already cut – no need to buy an entire 10 foot long piece of pipe!  The pipe itself cost $7.75 and the end pieces were $6.21 each, and with tax it came to a little over $20.00.  I didn’t mind spending that much money because I knew I would be using the mold over and over again and it could make several pounds of soap at a time!

How to make a round soap mold

The hardware store made my round soap mold for me!

The wooden mold was a bit more involved.  The Lowe’s tutorial can be a bit tricky to understand, but basically you are just making a wooden box.

However, after looking at several retail websites for molds, I decided I wanted a mold that would be adjustable for larger or smaller batches of soap.  After a bit of thought, this is what my husband made for me:

soap mold

The finished product. Isn’t it a beauty?!

You can see that the end of the box is stationary and screwed into the sides.  The the opposite end is adjustable to four different sizes!  Just unscrew the wing nuts, pull out the screws (which go through all thicknesses of wood) move up or down the box depending on how large your batch of soap is, push the screw back through the holes, screw the wing nut back on, et voila!  I sized the box to handle batches of two, three, four and five pounds of soap.  The width is 3-1/2 inches wide and so is the height, so if I want to make a square soap, I just fill the mold up to the top.  Or, for a smaller soap, I can fill the mold to whatever desired height I want.

Isn’t my husband the greatest!

So, here is how he did it:

DIY wooden soap mold

First, we started out with two 1″x4″ poplar boards, one was 2 feet long and the other was 3 feet long.  You can buy these already cut.  Buy one 1″x6″ poplar board 2 feet long.  You will also need two 6″ long screws, 2 wing nuts and 12 hex bolts (the long screws).  We used 14 wood screws to put the box together, but the box is actually longer than what is needed to make a 5 pound batch of soap!  I’m thinking of having my dearest drill a few more holes into the sides, so I can make a couple of batches of soap at a time in the same mold!  Of course, I will also need another end piece for adjustment.

                                         ♫ Oh sweetheart…  

Back to the project :D

Make your own wooden soap molds

Measure 3-1/2 inches, which is the inside measurement between the two sides of the box.

First, the 3 foot long 1″ x 4″  was cut to 2 feet long, to match the other 1″ x 4″.  The left over board is what makes the ends. We measured and marked the bottom board 3-1/2 inches apart, which is where the inside of the boards would be placed.  This was so that we would have a standard 3-1/2 inch bar of soap.

DIY adjustable soap mold

You should always pre-drill the holes so that the wood will not split when you insert the screws!

The sides were then screwed from the bottom into the 1 x 6 board.  Because we didn’t want the screw heads to scratch anything, Ray counter-sank the screws into the wood.

Next, with the 1 x 4 board that was cut off, measure two pieces to be 3-1/2 inches wide and carefully cut those as straight as possible.  These are your end pieces.  Screw one of the end pieces between the sides, flush with the end.  This is your stationary end.

DIY adjustable soap mold

The green tape is a guide to where the holes in the side walls will be. The stationary end has been screw into place

Now, as carefully as possible (this is where a drill press would come in handy), drill two holes through the length of the 3-1/2 end piece.  Ray was able to do this without a drill press or even a drill guide.  If you are drilling the holes free-hand, you really should have someone watch to make sure you are perfectly vertical with your drill bit.DIY adjustable soap mold

Now, measure your holes.  If you were successful in keeping your holes perpendicular, they should be about the same distance apart on both sides.  If not, you might need to adjust your holes a bit.  Now, with the adjustable piece laying as it will in the mold, measure from the bottom up to the center of each hole, then transfer these measurements onto the side board about six inches from inside the end.  The purpose is so that when you thread the hex bolt through one side, it will go through the adjustable end piece and through the other side.  Drill those holes.  Test to see that the screw goes through the side holes and through the end piece.  Now, do the same on the opposite side.  Test again to make sure the screws go through the entire run of wood.  You may need to ream the holes out a bit to get the screws to work through. That’s okay – nobody’s perfect!  Screw on the wing nut.  That’s the first set of holes.  Now, go onto the next set of holes in the sides, then the next.

DIY adjustable soap mold

All of the holes have been drilled and tested.

After reading about the sizes of the soap molds, we spaced the holes as follows:  From the inside of the stationary end, place the adjustable end at 6 inches.  This will make about a 2 pound loaf.  Then, space the holes on the sides every 3 inches to make 3 pound, 4 pound, or a 5 pound loaf of soap.  Of course, this is approximate and you will have to experiment with your recipes. The last set of holes for a 5 pound recipe of soap will be approximately 15 inches from inside the stationary end to inside the adjustable end.  DIY Wooden Soap Mold

So, all of you soapers out there, what do you think?  Isn’t this mold the coolest?

Now – on to making some soap!

 

Thank you for stopping by!  Please make my day and leave a comment, ask a question or just tell me how your day is going in the comment space below!

Vickie

 

The party is here: Turn To ShineThe HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  Create it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday;  Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Project Pin It;  Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop;  Pinworthy Projects PartyFriday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday;  Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend;  Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayNo Rules Weekend Party; The Pin Junkie;  Say G’Day SaturdaySuper Saturday; Simply Natural Saturdays; Saturday Sparks;  Show and Tell Saturday;  My Favorite Things;  Dare to Share;  Nifty Thrifty Sunday; DIY Sunday Showcase; Snickerdoodle Sunday;  Simple Life Sunday; Think Pink Sunday;  Mum-Bo Monday; Thank Goodness It’s MondayClever Chicks Blog Hop; Homemade Mondays;  Mix It Up Monday;  Amaze Me Monday, Motivation Monday; Mega Inspiration Monday; Made By You MondayHomemaking Mondays; The Backyard Farming Connection Hop; Show & Share Tuesday; The Gathering Spot;  Brag About ItTuesdays with a Twist; The Scoop; Tuesdays Treasures; Two Cup Tuesday;Tweak It Tuesday; Inspire Me Tuesdays; Tuesdays at Our Home; Turn It Up TuesdayLou Lou Girls; Inspire Us Tuesday

 

 

 

Homemade Gift Tutorials

homemade gift tutorials

Here are some tutorials for easy homemade gifts!  Something for everyone!

 

bed warmer

Bed Warmer (or Cooler!)

This has been my most popular tutorial of all time, probably because it’s so practical and yet easy to make!  My husband and I have been using the same one for a few years now and it’s absolutely wonderful on those cold, bone chilling days of winter. In the summer, when it’s hot, pull it out of the freezer, place between the sheets, and suddenly you have a cool bed to slip into!  If you can sew a straight line, you can make a bed warmer.

 

 

Hobby HorseHow to make a hobby horse

I helped my daughter-in-law and her mother make these cute hobby stick horses for my granddaughter’s birthday party.  They were a hit for both young and old!  You can use scrap fabric (stretchy is best) and scrap pieces of yarn for the mane.  The options for a face are endless: embroidery, iron ons, buttons, etc.  Use your imagination to personalize your hobby horse!

Pretty Pinecone Bird FeederPine Cone Bird Feeder

“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag.”   This is a wonderful gift for anyone who likes nature and birds.  Hang it near a window and enjoy watching the birds that visit!  Last year my four grandchildren made one (with my supervision) to give to their great grandmother.  I don’t know who enjoyed it more – me watching my grandchildren make the bird feeder, or my mother, who received such a special gift from her great grandchildren!

Snowman KitSnowman Kit

The snowman kit is one of the most appreciated gifts I have made for my grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews!  It’s fun to get pictures of the kids year after year next to their snowmen and snowladies! Customize the fabrics, button colors and accessories for each child on your list. Don’t forget to make the water resistant carry bag!

 

 

Farmer's Market BagFarmer’s Market Bag

With the ban of plastic bags here in California, everyone will need to carry their own bags to the grocery stores and farmer’s markets.  This is a bag I made to take to my farmer’s market.  It keeps produce cold and fresh with little pockets inside that hold removable freezer packs.  This is one of those practical gifts that everyone loves and appreciates!

ScrubbiesMake your own nylon scrubbies

Another popular item, these scrubbies are easy and fast to make.  I don’t really know how to crochet, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to whip one of these out in no time!  They scrub dishes, knees and elbows, windows and anything else that needs a good scrub that won’t scratch.  If you have a craft bazaar coming up, these sell like hotcakes!

 

Rustic Woodland CenterpieceRustic Centerpiece

Made mostly from nature and recyclable materials, this beautiful woodland centerpiece can adorn any table or mantle.  Make it your own by either painting it, putting glitter on it, sprinkling on a little fake snow, or all of the above!  Use a rectangle base and create a centerpiece with 2, 3 or even 4 candles!

K-Cup Advent Calendar2013 K-Cup Advent Calendar

If you are going to make one of these – you need to hop to it!  Traditionally, an Advent Calendar starts on December 1st, so you only have a week to get this done!  This easy to follow tutorial requires 24 k-cups, a shirt gift box, some glue and lots of little prizes and candies!

Have fun!

Any questions?  Please feel free to leave them in the comments!

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Here is my party list:  The Backyard Farming Connection Hop; Show & Share Tuesday; The Gathering Spot; Tuesday Garden Party;Garden Tuesday; Brag About ItTuesdays with a Twist; The Scoop; Tuesdays Treasures; Two Cup Tuesday; Tweak It Tuesday; Inspire Me Tuesdays; Tuesdays at Our Home; Turn It Up Tuesday; Pinterest Foodie; Lou Lou Girls; Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopWildcrafting Wednesday;  Wicked Awesome Wednesday;Whatever goes Wednesday; Show and Share Wednesday; Wined Down Wednesday; What We Accomplished;  Project ParadeWake Up Wednesday; Fluster’s Creative Muster; Whatever Wednesday; Wonderful WednesdayHump Day Happenings; The HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  The Handmade HangoutCreate it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Green Thumb Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday; All Things Thursday Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop; Eat, Create, PartyPinworthy Projects Party;Farmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday; Friday’s Five Features; Real Food Fridays; Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend; Anything Goes Linky; Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayFront Porch Friday; No Rules Weekend Party

Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

This is the centerpiece that is going in the middle of my table for Thanksgiving.  It is really quite easy to make, doesn’t take a lot of time and other than the glue sticks, is practically free with upcycled materials and help from mother nature!

Rustic Woodland Candle Centerpiece

Gather pine cones, acorns, seeds, nuts, anything organic.  Have the kids help.  If you are lucky, like I was, you will find a stump where Mr. Squirrel dispatched a couple of pine cones looking for the nuts!  It’s so much easier that way. Otherwise, find a few large pine cones and snip off the scales with heavy duty scissors, or rip them off with pliers.

Rustic Woodland CenterpieceThe other parts to this project are a base and a candle holder.  For the base, I used the round cardboard that comes under one of those we-make-it-you-bake-it kind of pizzas.  You can make the base any shape you want, but circles, ovals and rectangles are easiest. You can also use wood or even posterboard, though the posterboard might be a bit floppy.  The bigger candle holder is simply a washed tin can that used to hold chicken breast meat. This size holds those jars with candles in them.  You can see in the picture that you can also use a tuna can, which holds a pillar candle. Caution:  never leave a burning candle unattended – especially around these flammable items!

The first thing to do is glue a rim of the pinecone scales around the top of the can.  You can glue them next to each other or overlapping, which ever you choose.  The scales I am using came from a Ponderosa Pine.  Some call it Yellow Pine. I have also used Sugar Pine before.  Make sure you glue the scales at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the top of the can. Then, after finding center of your base, glue the can down.

Note:  You can use white glue on this project – especially if kids are helping – it just takes a bit longer to dry.  If using white glue, put a rubber band around the can, then slip each scale under the rubber band with a dollop of glue.  The rubber band helps keep the scale on the can until the glue has dried.

Now you will want to place the pinecone scales all around the edge of the base.  I let mine hang over about 1/2 inch so the cardboard won’t show.  This is where a lazy susan would come in handy.  Wish I had one!  :DRustic Woodland Centerpiece

Now you glue the actual pinecones around the rim of the can.  You can make them all stand up like tin soldiers, or let them tilt a bit this way and that. Sometimes they have a mind of their own, but it doesn’t matter because imperfection is beautiful…  right? ;)

Then glue pinecones around the edge, covering the ugly side of the scale.  Don’t worry about some gaps showing here and there.  Those will be covered later. Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

Finally, fill in the middle with the rest of your pinecones.  Most of the pinecones I used are from a Douglas Fir tree, which I find to be the easiest to work with.  No sharp spiny points to prick my fingers, but you can see a few little prickly devils in the mix.  I like the variety!

Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

Now, gather all the rest of your woodland finds.  These are what you use to fill in the gaps. This is where the magic happens…  when it starts to look really lovely!  I wish I had some eucalyptus buttons – those are beautiful on this centerpiece project, but I just couldn’t find any this time.  Incense Cedars make beautiful fleur-de-lis like things, junipers make the beautiful silvery-gray balls.  Of course, there are several colors, shapes and sizes of acorns you can use – with and without caps.  I have even used liquid amber balls, seed pods, walnuts, hazelnuts, clove pods and star anise before (I have made several of these). Just make sure it is “natural”.  Have fun with it and keep filling in until you are satisfied with the results.

Rustic Woodland Candle Centerpiece

You may want to glue a piece of felt or thin cork underneath, which protects any finish below the centerpiece.

These can be saved year after year, but don’t be surprised if you find little pieces of stuff that looks like sawdust about and around the centerpiece when you get it out of the box next year.  It won’t hurt anything – it’s just the remains of the sawdust from the worms in the acorns (that have long since died)!  Turn the whole thing upside down and give it a few pats, or use your blowdryer to blow it off, replace any pieces that fell off, and enjoy!

Too late to make this for your Thanksgiving table?  That’s okay.  Just spray paint it silver or gold, or add sparkly ornaments, or glitter, or sprinkle on some fake snow.  Or all of the above! Then, you will have a beautiful Christmas centerpiece!

Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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The Party Schedule:  Meet Up Monday; The Backyard Farming Connection Hop; Show & Share Tuesday; The Gathering Spot; Tuesday Garden Party;Garden Tuesday; Brag About ItTuesdays with a Twist; The Scoop; Tuesdays Treasures; Two Cup Tuesday; Tweak It Tuesday; Inspire Me Tuesdays; Tuesdays at Our Home; Turn It Up Tuesday; Pinterest Foodie; Lou Lou Girls; Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopWildcrafting Wednesday;  Wicked Awesome Wednesday;Whatever goes Wednesday; Show and Share Wednesday; Wined Down Wednesday; What We Accomplished;  Project ParadeWake Up Wednesday; Fluster’s Creative Muster; Whatever Wednesday; Wonderful WednesdayHump Day Happenings; The HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  The Handmade HangoutCreate it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Green Thumb Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday; All Things Thursday Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop; Eat, Create, PartyPinworthy Projects Party;Farmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday; Friday’s Five Features; Real Food Fridays; Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend; Anything Goes Linky; Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayFront Porch Friday; No Rules Weekend Party

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