Getting StartedNew to this whole DIY thing? No worries!
DIY for Beginners
Totally new to DIY? This article is for you. It’s full of awesome links, great starter projects, and more.
What ingredients will I need?
Here’s an ingredient overview and a couple great starter shopping lists to help you get started.
What equipment will I need?
From measuring spoons to spatulas, you’ll need some equipment to get started (you probably have most of it already).
Where to buy ingredients
You’ll need some ingredients—this page is full of links to places to shop all over the world.
Simple Starter Recipes
These recipes are a great place to get started—they don’t require too many ingredients, they come together easily, and they’re pretty much foolproof!
This simple summer lotion gives you a bit of a shimmery sun-kissed boost, and comes together in a flash. It's lightweight, making it perfect for warmer days, and you can choose how much shimmer you want. Want to watch this recipe instead of read it? Watch Now Really,...read more
This decadent Vanilla Coco Body Lotion smells wonderfully of vanilla, chocolate, and coconut. I may or may not have spent an embarrassingly long time smelling my hands after testing it out for the first time (and after every subsequent use, if we're being honest)....read more
I'm having a hard time deciding what it is I love most about these perfect body butter bars. Is it how they melt perfectly on contact with my skin and absorb quickly? Is it their amazing, delicious scent, which comes entirely from the butters and oils they're made...read more
I am absolutely in love with cocoa butter these days. It just smells so good, and it melts at just the right temperature, and it’s all smooth and soft (unlike some butters which are sticky on the skin). Best of all, it leaves you smelling of a beautiful, high-end...read more
This peppermint cocoa lip balm was just supposed to be a peppermint lip balm, but my cocoa butter had more ambitious plans. It is a beautiful, fragrant cocoa butter, and in the end I got a lip balm that smells like a delicious little Girl Guide cookie. It glides on...read more
Whipped body butter is like body butter, but far more decadent. The luxury factor is totally worth the bit of added effort—you feel like you're frosting yourself, but it a totally non-cannibalistic way. Whipped body butter makes great gifts that never fail to impress...read more
Body butter is a many-splendorous thing. It nourishes and moisturizes your skin, softening and supple-ing things up. It can smell great, and I find it's one of the few things that actually does anything for my stupidly dry feet. Unfortunately, all the wonders of body...read more
Love making stuff?Sign up for my emails for new recipes 2x a week!
Learn about carrier oils, essential oils, solubility, substitutions, and more. I’ve also got clean-up tips, shopping lists, and all kinds of other helpful information.
One of my favourite things about this community is the enthusiasm with which people research; the desire to learn more about ingredients, products, and processes is insatiable! However, as anyone who has done much poking about in this space will know, there's a lot of...read more
I get asked about substitutions, additions, and swaps a lot—hence this guide to making substitutions. I've already got guides on carrier oil substitutions and essential oil substitutions, so this article is going to be a bit more scattered. I'll look at some starter...read more
In my time working with emulsifying waxes, I've found that they vary quite a lot. There are two main categories of emulsifying waxes—complete and incomplete. We'll be looking at complete emulsifying waxes (or e-waxes) here as incomplete e-waxes require co-emulsifiers...read more
You might not guess it, but I get a surprisingly large number of questions about how to clean up DIY messes. Beeswax, shea butter, clays, and other assorted powders can make some pretty mighty messes that outclass a kid's pizza party pretty fast. Here's how I deal...read more
As I'm sure you can tell, I'm not much for following recipes—I'd rather make up my own. Sometimes it works, sometimes it sort of works, and sometimes it's a catastrophic, err, "learning experience". Over the last few years I've learned some lessons when it comes to...read more
This is an experiment I've been meaning to conduct for ages. For as many DIY concoctions I've made over the years, I still found myself wondering how much beeswax to add to something to get a certain level of hardness or thickening. So, one short winter day I set out...read more
Happy New Year! If one of your resolutions is to make more and buy less (well, buy less finished stuffs and more ingredients, that is), this is the post for you—especially if you're super new to this whole DIY thing. I'm going to walk you through which ingredients to...read more
So, you're getting into making your own body products and household cleaners. You've found a supplier, you've found their essential oils section... and whoa. There are hundreds. And they all sound amazing. The reviews rave about how this one cured their epilepsy and...read more
As much as I have resisted the idea, a lot of my assorted DIY-ing is scientific-ish. Drat. My high school science teacher was right (though I have never bothered to balance the equation of surplus electrons for anything I have ever made, and I can safely say I never...read more
Let me preface this by saying I am no scientist, and this guide is definitely a quick one (and based very much on personal experience). I took 12th grade chemistry, and that's it—and that was a while ago. I did, however, convince my brilliant friend Adrian to...read more
Canada, for all of its wonderful traits, is a wee bit confused in the measurement department. We officially switched over to the metric system in the 1970's, but we did a pretty half-assed job of it. We measure distances in kilometers, and temperature in Celsius, but...read more
After writing about carrier oil substitutions, I couldn't wait to write more about swapping this ingredient for that, and why things do or don't work. So, today I'm writing about essential oil substitutions. There are fewer variables here, so it'll be a shorter entry,...read more
One of the questions I am asked the most is along the lines of "I don't have ingredient X, can I use ingredient Y or Z instead, or just leave it out?". Sometimes the answer is a quick yes, and sometimes it's a complicated no. So, I put together this guide to help you...read more
For anyone who makes soap, this whole entry will be fairly redundant. However, I've been getting a lot of questions lately from people who say they are scared of lye, and want to know how to make soap without lye. They're either afraid of working with it, or they...read more
Well, I've been making some neat products (and some great messes) over the last few years with my beloved DIY products. In the process, I've figured out that there are two categories of equipment; things that you can share between your kitchen and food prep life, and...read more