I’ve seen a few tooth powder recipes out there, and I’m out of tooth paste, so I figured now was a good time to give it a go! I won’t go into all the whys or how making it can be better for remineralizing your teeth because so many other bloggers have done just that (see my list at the bottom of this page). I took a look at their posts and recipes for inspiration, and I ended up with my own little version! I will link those blogs below, as well as why each ingredient is good for a toothpowder. I will say that I prefer to get my powder pretty wet before using it to avoid full granules of salt and baking soda, but otherwise, it’s awesome! I am going to add some peppermint extract later to give it less of a vaguely salty taste, but cinnamon powder seems to be another popular option.
Around 2012, you could find me in a stuffy 6th grade classroom on weekdays, and in my own room on the weekends. I was always crafting and scrounging around my mom and dad’s closet for fabric to use in my sewing projects. I did everything by hand, and I never bought anything new to sew with, except for thread, of course. I was 12. I literally couldn’t, lol. I remember looking at a pair of lightwash jeans from my mom and thinking the top looked like it would make a good bag. So I turned it into one, and made a strap from a fabric belt or a scarf of some kind before sewing on seashells and an octopus pendant.
I have no idea where that’s gone to over the years, I might still have it hiding between photo albums and forgotten boxes. I think I would cry if I ever found it, honestly. It was such a “me” thing to make, and it was one of if not the first things I mqde and actually used outside of my house. My best friend, who I met in 6th grade, told his mom about it and when I came over for the first time, she saw it and knew who I was lol.
It’s a special DIY for me, even though it’s super simple and easy to make. I created another one a few weeks ago and shared the process on TikTok. The videos can be found below or by checking out my profile @Maiden_of_Moths on TikTok, which also has captions.
Do you have any DIYs close to your heart? Feel free to share them with me! I am off to get ready for work, so I will catch you guys later. Bye!
The majority of my family’s waste comes from the kitchen. I compiled this list of DIYs to help reduce waste in my own kitchen, and hopefully inspire someone else to do the same! Let me know what your favourite ways to reduce waste are, and how they have worked for you in the comments!
1. Unpaper towels. I love the idea of using old towels or scraps from rags that have seen better days to piece together a new towel that you can use on the daily. This tutorial by An Apple and a Tree explains how to do just that. If you’re looking for more cut and dry measurements than freehanding, I suggest taking a look at this tutorial by The Happiest Camper. If you have to source terrycloth or whichever fabric you need new, try asking your local buy nothing group for spare towels or a yard or two of terrycloth! If you go with flannel for your unpaper towels, I suggest washing it and throwing in a cup of white vinegar to soften the fibers and get them to absorb spills better.
2. Crocks for used coffee and clean eggshells. (Not quite a DIY but still). Okay so am I the only one that can’t compost where I live? Mom says no, and in this house, that means no sneaky patches of compost, no matter how I plan to hide the smell. However, I do like to save certain things for my plants, including unflavoured coffee grounds and ground eggshells. I tend to salvage these as they come, either by sprinkling them on top of the soil or sticking them nearby into a plant in our landscaping, but it would be so awesome to have a dedicated spot for them in my kitchen. All you need are two crocks or containers and your clean, dry coffee and/or eggshells. I dry out coffee by putting it in a shallow dish and letting it air out for a day or two. For eggshells, I rinse, remove the membrane, and allow to dry before crushing them up with my mortar and pestle. (If you choose not to put a lid on your crock, you may not have to dry out the coffee as thoroughly as I do). How useful would that be? As a gardener, I love it. You can find crocks or other stoneware/glass containers at thrift shops and antique malls! The examples below strikes my fancy, but honestly you can always just use what you’ve got! A tupperware container or well loved bowl will do just as well. Also, can we just collectively fawn over all the cool stuff at Laurel Leaf Farm? Seriously, just take my money already lol.
3. Reusable fabric snack bags. I hate ziploc bags. They are incredibly wasteful and flimsy as all get out, making them hard to reuse in lunches, especially for kids. I’ve thought about using beeswax wraps but I’m just not so sure I’m going to like them, and I don’t want to waste the beeswax or the fabric used to make them. This DIY by Mindful Momma uses velcro to secure the bags closed, making them perfect for on the go. If you don’t have velcro or you’re looking to avoid it, this tutorial by No Trace on YouTube is excellent. I think this will be a project for me once I get my sewing machine sorted.
4. A produce bag. Creating a hassle-free produce bag doesn’t need to be difficult! I’ve found several options for all kinds of crafting styles. This one on Blades and Bush Lore is made from string, and netted to form a perfect bag for apples, oranges, and all kinds of produce. Between the Lines created one using a stained tee shirt. My Poppet used their crochet skills to make these cute netted bags. You can use your old plastic bags to create a new one with brand new life by following My Recycled Bags’ tutorial here. Heck, you can use the pplastic mesh some produce comes in to create a reusable version if you follow Unstuff’s guide. Or, you can glam up your grocery trips by transforming old lace curtains into elegant, weightless bags for your bananas and mangoes! Head over to Patricia Fentie’s tutorial to find out how to do that. Really, no matter how basic your skills are, you can make produce bags to bring along to the grocery store! I know this is technically a shopping DIY, but this post is supposed to be light, so we won’t tell anybody.
I hope you enjoy reading through some of these tutorials and have a blast creating something from here! Let me know if you do, and if you have any other DIYs you’d like to share. I’ll see you all in the next one! Bye!
I live in the primitive world of HOAs and suburban soccer moms that yell that our fireworks are too loud at 8pm on the Fourth of July. I have all of my veggies struggling along in pots that rabbits continuously crunch on, and I am at the mercy of my parents who just aren’t too sure about my jar hoarding “problem”. That said, I’m doing my best with what I’ve got and the rules I have to follow. A lot of what I want to do just isn’t possible for one reason or another, but I have found several things that I can do to here and now to prep for a more self-sustaining future, and to lessen my wastefulness along the way.
When I started this whole thing, I first did a pseudo-audit of what I would ideally change in the future. For me, it included trying to be more zero waste and also learning to create more of what I needed. Here are some of the skills I have identified that I think any pre-homestead or current waste-reducing person could benefit from learning.
A daunting part of homesteading or self-sufficiency is just how much you need to “do” or learn. I’m guilty of forgetting that self-sufficient doesn’t mean you do it all alone. To get things done and spread out work among other nearby homesteaders and yourself, you should learn to trade, barter, and sell within a community of like minded people. For example, I make soap, and I love to do it. I can trade some of my soap for other necessities like mittens or some food from another person. Not only do I get to make all the soap my little heart desires, I get to share and trade it for what I need but may not have the time or ability to create. There are many groups online and in-person that you can join. Some great ones that are found all over the US include Buy Nothing groups, where you give and receive items that aren’t being used, as well as the many facebook groups set up for local zero waste swap meets, clothing swaps, etc. This is one of the most important parts of being more self-reliant (as opposed to grocery store- or fashion chain, etc-reliant). Find communities and swap tips, tricks, and products. There are usually more people nearby that think like you than you’d expect! You can also head out to your local farmers market or artisan market and make friends there. Learn from others and share what you know!
I have several small plants growing on my patio, despite the rabbits dining in every once in a while. I’m learning how to grow a variety of things now, and how to deal with furry buddies wanting in on the yumminess. By learning this now, I won’t be utterly lost when I decide to grow a large garden to feed myself and anyone living with me. I’m currently working through soil, water, nutrient, and light needs, as well as troubleshooting when things look off. Even if I don’t get much this year, I’m happy to be learning and growing food of my own. There are many great places to gain useful information, including the above recommended communities of fellow homesteaders! I’d also like to add that my veggies finally seem to be doing well, and that feels really good (especially when I stop to consider how many seeds I’ve planted, nurtured, overwatered, and lost).
I’ve always loved upcycling, so this comes naturally for me! Giving old, unusable things new life is a great skill to have. Another part of this is learning to think outside of the box, take a step back, and come up with a creative solution. You can do things like spin yarn out of plastic bags or newspapers, make produce bags from lace valences, and even upcycle old oatmilk containers into soap molds. Practice this sort of thinking when you want to buy something new or you are throwing something out. Can this be melted and used later (HDPE Plastic for example is a great material to add to your stockpile)? Can I replace what I need with something I already have (ex: a flower pot can be substituted with an old yogurt container)? Even if you don’t actively pursue upcycling for your own reasons, it’s good to start thinking critically. Break everything down to its bare bones and the raw material it can provide.
Mending is something everyone can use, no matter where you’re at. Sure, your family might be confused and ask why you’re darning those socks instead of buying new ones, but the skill is useful and practice makes perfect. Learn this skill before you need it. You can have a lot of fun with this, too, by adding aesthetically pleasing techniques to your work. I say all this assuming you can sew, at least by hand. That’s a skill that will serve you now (seams always split open when you can’t afford to buy a new pair of jeans, trust me) and later. If you can get your hands on a reliable machine, that’s even better! But if this skill does not come easily for you, learn the basics and turn to your community if you need help.
You don’t need to can enough to get through the entire winter if your fridge and pantry are packed as it is. In my situation, not only would no one eat anything I canned (it’s foreign to them, so I can’t blame them), but I would run out of room very quickly. To combat this, I’ll be trying something simple every few weeks to get the skill going. I’m going to have fun and learn all the tips and tricks along the way, and heed the many rules and safety protocols of canning as I do so. I’ll have a head start for when I go to harvest a bunch of tomatoes and find I have too many to eat! I can’t wait to can up some delicious apple butter in the fall, and ripe strawberry jam any day now. Mmm.
Simple Skincare Knowledge
Speaking as someone heavily invested in and pursuing the skincare industry, trust me when I say there’s a lot to learn. So many bloggers recommend things that make me cringe, and skincare experts like Dr. Dray, Cassandra Bankson, the Golden Rx (link is to a video I definitely recommend if you’re looking in to skincare DIYs) and Lab Muffin Beauty have all added their own informed opinions on this topic. Learn what to avoid by watching these amazing women and others who offer their advice and knowledge to us. They provide so many great scientific viewpoints, and it’s important to consult the realities of science when making your own skincare.
That said, there are ways to make your own great skincare essentials. I’ll be posting my recipes and those I have tried and truly believe in! I’ve recently posted a few in my last post, 7 things to make instead of buying! Until then, be very wary of posts using lemon essential oil in after-sun lotion, or apple cider vinegar as a toner.
Oh man, I do love making soap. It’s a really fun way to customize your showering routine, not to mention you get to add delicious scents and beautiful colours! Learning how to make your own soap is quite the journey, but a very rewarding one if you find the perfect recipe.
Even if you never make it yourself, knowing how it’s made and how it works is a great benefit to anyone wanting to be more self sufficient. There are three basic ways to create bar soap: cold process, hot process, and melt and pour.
Melt and pour is by far the easiest in terms of finding recipes and starter kits, and involves simply melting a brick, adding things like colour and scent, and pouring it into a mold of your choice. That said, there is little room for customization or additions to melt and pour, as the soap bricks you get are already prepared.
After melt and pour, we have hot process. Hot process requires a lot less attention than cold process, but shares more similarities to it than to melt and pour but is kind of ugly in my humble opinion. I just made a shave soap using the hot process method and am waiting impatiently for it to cure. I didn’t have to give it nearly as much focus or attention as I usually do with my cold process soaps, and it seems much more forgiving if you forget about it for a few extra minutes. It does use lye, whether that be KOH (Potassium Hydroxide) or the more commonly used NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide). Lye can be dangerous to use and handle, so I recommend getting the proper protective gear in advance and learning about all the potential dangers, even if you only soap once or twice a year. And please, I speak from experience when I say this, get a tarp or a thick towel to use on your counters. Any drips of lye water onto a laminate counter top will stain them (sorry Mom) and by stain I mean eat away at. Permanently. Oof.
It feels great to cut down on one more thing I would have to be buying at the store, and my skin likes this soap better, anyways.
How self-sufficient are you? What skills do you think are the most important to learn in today’s world? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to share this post with your friends! I’ll be back later with more skills to hone. Bye!