Thursday, May 31, 2012

DIY: Natural Hair Lengthener

Not too long ago I donated eight inches of my hair. Although it was going to a good cause and I don't regret donating, I do miss having my long hair. Luckily, my hair grows pretty fast, but I really wanted to kickstart it as well as I could. So I looked around a bit and found some natural ingredients that supposedly help hair growth and I came up with a recipe that I'm hoping will show some real results.

In addition to boosting hair growth, this should soften and subtly lighten hair. I tried it out and although I can't speak of it's hair growing properties, it did soften my hair.

Here are the ingredients:
Coconut Oil
Lemon Juice (optional: I've wanted to subtly lighten my hair)
Dry Rosemary Leaves (or Rosemary Oil)

Also optional is rinsing it out with Apple Cider Vinegar.
Melt the coconut oil and mix it together with the lemon juice in a 2:1 ratio. 
Now take your dry Rosemary leaves and crush them as fine as you can. Having a mortar and pestle really helps with this step!
Mix up the Rosemary leaves with the coconut oil and lemon juice mixture and you're done!

What you're going to want to do is massage this mixture into your scalp and through your hair. Leave it in your hair for about four hours, or ideally, overnight then rinse it out with cold water. (Make sure it's mixed really well before you put it in your hair - separation is natural.)

I really liked this treatment (even though I smelled a little bit like a salad...) and will probably do it once a / every other week. I can't wait to see how it works in a few months.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DIY Quick & Easy Hamper

I've been moving around quite a bit lately, and I was forced to downsize dramatically. Somewhere along the way I lost my laundry basket - not that it would have fit in my new place anyway. Nonetheless, I needed something smaller and that would fit in a rather awkward place in my more than full closet. I've had this idea for a while, but I didn't have dress I was willing to use. Then I received a hand-me-down. Certainly not my first choice for this project, but I like free stuff too much to just give it away when I knew it was the perfect shape.

Regardless of my initial trepidation, this was so easy and simple, and it works perfectly for me.

Here's what I did to turn an awful dress into an ugly but useful hamper: first, I cut the neckline to make a larger opening then I flipped it inside out and pinned the bottom. One simple straight seam later and I've got a hanging hamper (after cutting off the excess fringe and dress of course.) I could have stopped there, but I wanted to stabilize it on the hanger. After two seams on the straps to keep it on the hanger, I'm finished. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

DIY Braided Horsehair Bracelet

As a horse lover, there is a certain charm to wearing a little part of a favorite horse around. Thankfully, horsehair is a resilient material and makes a perfect bracelet.

Here's what I used to fashion a bracelet:
1 pin
1 lobster clasp
2 jump rings
2 "cord clasps" (I don't know the actual name for these, but they are made to clasp around a cord.)

You'll also need these items not pictured:
needle-nose pliers
super glue

Of course, you'll also need horsehair. A favorite lesson horse of mine graciously provided his entire mane as he was getting his long mane clipped to a respectable length. Where you'll want to take the hair depends on the horse. The best bet is usually the tail hair - it's longer and thicker. Obviously, contrary to this, though, I took hair from the horse's mane, but luckily he has very thick hair.
First thing I did was equal up one end of the hairs as close as possible and tied a knot. Because horsehair doesn't stay in a knot, I used the pin to secure the hair to a piece of wood by just pinning it right through the middle of the knot. This allowed me to braid the hair tightly. 

Braid as far as you can and tie the other end in a knot. Measure the braid around your wrist and figure out how long it will need to be to fit comfortably. Knot the hair a little above the length you'll want. Pull both knots as tight as possible and glue the ends right before the knot. Let the glue dry before clipping off the knot. This should leave a nice corded end.

Drop some more super glue on the inside of the clasp before setting the hair end into it. Take your needle-nose pliers and clasps both ends closed. I used a couple more drops of super glue on both end of the clasp to add extra security. 

I used a jump ring to attach the lobster clasp and the other to be the ring for the clasp. To clean things up a bit, I had to clip some of the errant hairs from the braid.

Super easy and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome! Now I want to make horsehair bracelets from all the horses in my life!