Tag Archives: DIY

Goat Milk Conditioner Video Demo

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A little over month or so ago, I shared a DIY Goat Milk Conditioning Hair Mask Recipe. As I mentioned then, and I’ll reaffirm now, I LOVE this stuff!! My hair has been amazing since I started using it and I’m about to apply a batch that I mixed up this past Sunday as soon as I post this!!

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Anywho, I know that some people are more visual and want to SEE things demonstrated. But, this is the thing. I struggle with videos and they take me hour upon hour to tape, edit, and figure out how to upload properly. So, I haven’t done any “real” ones in FOREVER!! But, I was very pleased to see that Sawah of DiscoveringNatural tried my goat milk recipe and filmed it!! So, I’m sharing her video for those interested in seeing the recipe “in action.” And, I love that she has a different texture than me and can demonstrate its effectiveness on tighter coils!! Thanks Sawah!!

via DiscoveringNatural

(p.s. I have since added an eye dropper full each of Nettle Leaf and Marshmallow Root extracts to my recipe. I got them for something else that I never made, because both herbs are touted to have benefits for hair. Can’t say for certain that they improved the efficacy of the conditioner. But again, my hair has been behaving WONDERFULLY since I started using this and my shedding/hair loss has been dramatically decreased.)

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Have you tried a goat milk hair conditioner? If so, how would you describe your hair texture and what were your results?

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Goat Milk Conditioning Hair Mask

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Okay. I admit it. I’ve been holding out on you guys. But, in my defense, I did it FOR you!!! You see … what had happened was …

About a year ago, my girl Dottie of Threadmill (you know, the one who makes satin-lined, crocheted hats for us natural girls … and it IS that time of year) messages me on Facebook:

I have had a hair epiphany! Do you want to hear about it? I’ve been cowashing lately, and added one moisturizing ingredient to it, and WOWEE, my hair is amazing! It was an experiment that actually worked. My hair is the “heat”! I’ll be doing this at least twice a week! (I’m so excited about my new hair discovery… not sure if it’s an approved thing for natural hair…. but it is surely the thing for mine!!!!)
Maybe someone else thought of it before me, but for me, it’s my own discovery…. And if it is truly a new thing, I want you to have it! (if it’s good for you)
Goats milk lotion… made by an etsy friend. I added 1 part of my favorite no-sulfate conditioner with 1 part of the goats milk lotion, and about 4 parts water, shake it up! Added liberally, washed through my hair, and seriously Shelli, this is the best my hair has EVER looked without styling agents, or heat agents!
My hair is soft, yet has definition, and the curls aren’t frizzy but, they’re refined.
I’m literally pingy with my discovery!

Needless to say, I was intrigued. So, started to do a little research! Check out some of what I discovered:

via Black Hair 101

Goat Milk Hair Benefits:

  • Make hair soft and manageable.
  • Good for dry scalp and especially for dandruff conditions.
  • Softens hair and smoothes out nicks or scratches across the hair strand.
  • Makes scalp healthier and less prone to dryness.
  • When added to other moisture rich ingredients can make hair moisturized and pliable and extremely healthy.

Goat milk can be added to shampoos, conditioners or used with other nutritious ingredients as a deep conditioner or with tea as a rinse or added to your shea, mango or cocoa butter preparations for hair and skin.

Now, here is where it gets really interesting. Dottie’s friend had to take a hiatus from making her goat’s milk conditioner, so I wasn’t able to get my hands on any. But, in a serendipitous turn of events, a friend of mine at work tells me that her daughter, who is a farmer, just bought nursing goats and she would give me some milk once the baby goats were weaned. Fast forward to a year later (lol) and I finally got 3 freezer bags full of some authentic, straight-off-the-farm, unadulterated goat’s milk! (But, in the interim, I had started using Curl Prep Sweet Buttah. L. O. V. E. Guess what the fourth ingredient is? Yeah. Goat milk.)

So, back in late September or thereabouts, the experimenting commenced. After the first use, I didn’t notice anything particularly amazing. But, on the following wash day, I noticed less shedding and breakage. The same thing occurred after the second use … and the third. By the fourth use, my hair seemed a bit shinier and definitely stronger, with drastically decreased shedding (or breakage as the case may have been).

And now, we get to why it has taken me so long to tell you about the awesome results I have been getting from goat milk conditioner. You see … this stuff is really watery. And kinda sticky. So, my first three treatments with it were NOT cute, though they were effective.

Experiment #1: Goat’s Milk solo – drippy, somewhat sticky, mess.

Experiment #2: Goat’s Milk mixed with full fat yogurt – thicker, but still a bit drippy AND it left white, flaky residue, even after two rinses.

Experiment #3: Goat’s Milk mixed with Sally’s GVP Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm and honey – improved consistency, no residue, but difficult to mix and still not quite right.

So, finally, I did a little research about cosmetic thickening agents and decided to purchase some guar gum from Amazon. I used it to make a goat’s milk conditioning mask this past weekend and it was LOVER-LY!! After using the treatment as my deep conditioner, I did my new go-to style, the Aloe Vera Gel Braid n’ Twist n’ Curl (BnTnC – I think that I just coined a new natural hair acronym!! LOL!) and had the most AMAZE-A-BALLS results ever on take down the following afternoon!

BnTnC(This was in prep for my wedding day hairstyle trial!! It turned out great!)

So, here’s my easy, peasy, recipe:

DIY GOAT MILK & HONEY CONDITIONING HAIR MASK

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. goat’s milk (2 ice cubes thawed*)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tsp Vatika Oil (Virgin Coconut Oil can also be used)
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum (not only thickens mix, provides AMAZING slip!)

Directions:

  1. Mix together goat’s milk, honey, EVOO, and Vatika Oil (I used a spoon, but a mixer or whisk could also be used).
  2. Slowly sprinkle guar gum into the mix while constantly stirring (“Slowly” is the operative word. If you dump the guar gum into the mix, you will get “cottage cheese” lumps, which can be difficult to rinse out of your hair.).
  3. Allow mixture to “hydrate” for 15-30 minutes (this is when it thickens).
  4. Pour conditioner into an applicator bottle (optional).
  5. Go for yours (massage into scalp and smooth through hair)!!

TIPS:

  • Freeze milk into ice cubes to extend shelf-life and create convenient, “serving size” amounts that can be thawed quickly when ready to use.
  • If you don’t have your own personal “farm fresh” supplier ;), you can use store bought goat’s milk, including the powdered kind.
  • Add essential oils and/or herbal extracts that are beneficial for hair. I have been adding an eye dropper full of nettle leaf and marshmallow extract, both touted to have benefits for scalp heath and hair growth!
  • Not a mixtress, but still want to try this? Add goat milk to your regular/deep conditioner and let it do what it do ;)!
  • This recipe has no preservatives, so refrigerate any leftovers and use within a week. If you opt to add a preservative, still store the product in your refrigerator, not the bathroom, to extend shelf life.

goatsmilkconditioner2You can see the conditioner like consistency given by the guar gum.

I applied the goat’s milk mask after washing, conditioning, and detangling my hair. I left it on for about an hour with my thermal heat turban, cooled and sealed, and then damp styled. The next day …

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So yeah … goat’s milk is, like, my newest holy grail.

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Have you ever used goat’s milk as a hair treatment? How do/did you use it? What benefits, if any, did you see from using it?

Flaxseed Gel (FSG): The Remix – A Cream Gel Experiment

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About a year ago, I shared a post about the benefits of flaxseed oil and gel for hair (see it here). I tried making the gel in 2010 with disappointing results and last year, I tried Botticelli Botanicals pre-made Flax Gelee with very nice results (and boy did it smell amazing!!). But, being the PJ that I am, it was a passing fancy and I forgot about FSG for a while.

Well, this past weekend, I decided to revisit making my own flaxseed gel (FSG). But, this time, the plan was to make an flaxseed cream gel. “Cream Gel” you ask? Well see, I mentioned here that my last attempt at making FSG resulted in it being too thick. CrystalJ commented on the post and suggested that I whip the gel with a little oil to create a cream gel if that happens again! Well, I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a creamy, moisturizing gel, so I decided I wanted to make one regardless of whether I “overcooked” my flaxseeds.

But first, I needed to be reminded of the ratio of seeds to water again, so I reviewed this well-known tutorial, which I’ve watched many times in the past:

via Naptural85

Okay, got it.

Basic Flaxseed (FSG) Gel Recipe

1/4 c. whole flaxseeds
2 c. distilled water

optional: Vitamin E oil (preservative), essential oils, carrier oils

As to what I decided to add to make my FSG cream gel, I decided to add a scoop of coconut oil that was mixed with Maychang oil and a scoop of shea butter.

The BAD (meaning, the mistakes I made):

  • I tried to whip the gel, solid coconut oil and solid shea butter together at once. Not a good idea. It was not working. If using solid oils/butters, whip those FIRST into a smooth consistency, THEN whip in the gel.
  • I probably used too much coconut oil and shea butter. I threw in about 1/4 of a cup each. CrystalJ suggested that I use a “dollop.” The reason I think I used too much is because, when I refrigerated the gel, the coconut turned solid and made little tiny chunks all through the gel.
  • Because the coconut oil solidifies, I am not able to squeeze the gel out of the bottle. It’s too thick, so I have to open the bottle to extract it!
  • As I used a decent amount of oil/butter, the gel doesn’t have as much hold as I think it would have with less oil.

Now the GOOD:

  • It’s very moisturizing!
  • Although the coconut oil made chunks in the gel, the coconut oil does melt from body heat when emulsified in my palms! (I have also placed it in a cup of heated water and that makes the coconut oil melt in the gel.)
  • It has not left any flakes in my hair.
  • I’ve been wearing a bun almost all week and it has provided my edges with a light hold.
  • I’ve been applying it to my edges every morning and it doesn’t seem like I’m getting product build-up.

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So, I plan to keep using this and may make some more gel with the leftover seeds to add to this bottle in order to give it a little more hold. Next time, I’ll definitely use less coconut oil, will add some Vitamin E oil to act as a preservative and will use liquid oils like grapeseed, jojobo and/or EVOO instead of shea butter. I also want to try the cream gel on a braid-out set!! So, I may do that this weekend!

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Have you tried/do you use FSG? What do you think of it? If you make it regularly, what’s your favorite recipe?

My Second Bentonite Clay Hair Mask

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A couple of years ago, I tried a bentonite clay hair mask after seeing a few posts about how amazing it was for clarifying hair and reviving curls. However, when I tried it, it left my hair dry and did nothing special for my curls. So, I left bentonite clay for hair alone and solely used it for occasional facials.

Fast forward to April 2012. I decided to try Terressentials Mud Wash (TMW) after watching Naptural85’s YouTube video on it and reading many raving reviews. I ended up liking it, but I did NOT like the price. Actually, the price of the product isn’t horrible at $10.75 for 8 oz. It was the $8+ shipping and how much I needed to use for my hair that were the deal breakers. So, I decided at that time that I would try to make my own. You see, the first two ingredients in TMW are aloe vera juice (AVJ) and bentonite clay. So, I started researching recipes, even bought some nettle and marshmallow root extract for that purpose. But, I quickly lost interest. I think it was because I discovered Aubrey GPB and Honeysuckle Rose (HSR) conditioners, which GAVE. ME. LIFE.

Anywho, my interest in trying to make a bentonite clay mask was recently rekindled after I tried the prototype for Wonder Curl’s (WC) Cleansing Clay Mask. I’ve been toying around with building an all-natural (products) hair regimen. But, a cleanser and detangler are tricky areas for me (you know I LOVE me some DevaCare No Poo and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration). Well, the WC Cleansing Clay, TMW and bentonite clay masks all serve those dual purposes: cleanser and detangler. But, since WC’s mask won’t be out for a while and TMW is so expensive (though I do still have a bottle under my sink), I decided to try to make my own mask again.

The first thing I revisited was this YouTube video on the pH of bentonite clay when mixed with water versus AVJ. Bentonite clay is alkaline and, when mixed with AVJ, it achieves an acidic pH of 4.0, which is close to the normal range for hair (4.5-5.5). When mixed with water, the pH remains in the alkaline range of 9.

Next, I took a look at a recipe I found on HappyHairJourney.com: My Bentonite Clay Cleanser Recipe.

1/2 cup Bentonite clay
1/2 cup AVJ (aloe vera juice)
1/4 cup ACV (apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2-3 drops of each of these essential oils (Rosemary, lavender, peppermint & lemon)

And naturally, I also read this post by La Coco Bella that I shared last week.

Ultimately, I decided to wing it with the ingredients that I already had in the house. And, I’ll be honest, I didn’t measure anything, I just threw a little of this, a little of that (EOs and extracts), a lot of this and a lot of that (bentonite clay and AVJ) together until the consistency looked right.

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My Bentonite Clay Hair Mask “Recipe”:

  • 4 heaping teaspoons of Bentonite clay
  • AVJ (enough to make the consistency of the clay like a thick batter)

A few drops of each of the following hair friendly EOs:

  • Cedarwood (treats dandruff and hair loss, improves hair quality)
  • Lavender (treats dandruff, itching, controls breakage, and stimulates hair growth)
  • Rosemary (stimulates hair growth)
  • Thyme (stimulates hair growth)

An eye dropper full of each of the following extracts:

  • Marshmallow Root (mucilage provides slip)
  • Nettle Leaf (promotes hair re-growth, thickens hair, adds shine)

I mixed and mixed and mixed all of the ingredients in a plastic take-out container with a PLASTIC spoon (don’t use metal; bentonite clay draws toxins out due to its negative electric charge; metal decreases the clay’s potency).

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I made the clay Friday evening and refrigerated it overnight. I also applied my typical pre-poo of Aubrey GPB, HSR and Vatika Oil, covered with a plastic baggie and wore my heat turban for about an hour. Then, I slept in the pre-poo and baggie.

Wash Day:

  • I rinsed the pre-poo out of my hair with warm water from the kitchen sink for several minutes.
  • Next, I applied the bentonite clay mask to my hair in sections, massaging it into my scalp first and then smooshing the clay down the length of my hair. I applied the mask like I would henna.
  • I worked my hair in 6 sections (3 on each side of my head; 1 in front, 2 in back).
  • I twisted each section, clipped my ends to the top of my head, and donned a plastic cap for about 45 minutes.
  • Then, I hopped back in the shower, released the twists on one side of my head, and rinsed out the bentonite clay.
  • After I rinsed out most of the clay, I gently finger detangled, and then I repeated on the other half of my head.

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  • Next, I got out of the shower and applied Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner to DC (30-45 min. w/heat).
  • Cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse.
  • Finally, I applied a DIY moisturizing flaxseed gel (post on that coming soon!) and placed my hair into two braids. (I had to get out of the house for lunch with the Sci-5ive and didn’t have time to do anything else.)

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The Verdict:
The jury’s still out on this one ladies. To be brutally honest, my hair felt HEAVILY coated as I rinsed and detangled it. Detangling wasn’t bad overall, but my hair felt somewhat gummy, like the strands were sticking together because of the pre-poo residue. I had one really bad knot that it took HE HH and 10 minutes or so to detangle (meaning, 
I worked most of the strands of hair out of the knot, got it as close to the ends of the strands as I could, and then cut it out). After I was done detangling and rinsing, my hair still felt coated and my curls were NOT popping as I’d hoped. In fact, I think they almost looked better after rinsing the pre-poo. I suspect that my pre-poo was too heavy for the clay mask to cleanse completely. For real, I was thinking that I would end up washing my hair with shampoo when I got home from lunch. But, by that time, my hair had dried and it didn’t feel tacky anymore. In fact, it felt very soft and moisturized. It was also very shiny. So, I just left it in the two braids until that evening, when I went out again. It was still a little damp, so it frizzed a bit. I had an okay braid-out, but it wasn’t anything to write home about … hence why there are no pictures of it. I’m presently in a bun. Surprise, surprise.

Anywho, although my results were less than stellar, I’m not ready to give up on a DIY bentonite clay hair mask yet. I think things may have gone better if I had shampooed my pre-poo out lightly first. Also, I’m interested in trying different recipes, such as those that use ACV and carrier oils (like EVOO). Shoot, Cocoberrie provided a whole LIST of YouTubers with recipes in the comments on this post. I haven’t even delved into those yet!! So, I’m thinking one of those might lend me better results or at least point me in the right direction. And, in regard to my attempt at jerry-rigging my own recipe, I think that marshmallow root and nettle powders might work better for a clay mask than the extracts. Unfortunately, my local health food store only carries the extracts and the powders are pretty expensive on Amazon (and few have Super Saver Shipping). So, if any of you have any leads on where I can get Marshmallow Root and Nettle Leaf powders at a good price (shoot, throw Burdock Root in too), holla atcha girl!! 😉

Until next time …

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Do you make your own DIY, homemade, all-natural cleanser and/or detangler that’s the bee’s knees? If so, DISH please!!

Coconut Oil Lip Balm

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So, y’all know that I’ve been on a coconut oil induced mixtress binge as of late after discovering this great page, 25 Magical Things to Make with Coconut Oil. Well, my latest endeavor was to try my hand at making a coconut oil lip balm. You see, I’m a Chapstick/lip balm addict! I MUST have something moisturizing for my lips on me at all times! But, I know that Chapstick and many other lip balms contain parabens, which is an ingredient that I’ve been trying to get away from as much as possible. So, when I saw this recipe (which requires minimal ingredients and effort), I decided it was worth giving a try.

via Passionate Homemaking

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons shea butter
12 lip balm containers
dropper

Directions:

1. Melt beeswax in a small pan or crockpot over low heat. Add coconut oil and shea butter until all ingredients a melted. Add a few drops essential oil if desired. I did not use any essential oil and it is smells wonderfully like honey!
2. Using a small medicinal dropper, pour the melted liquid into your lip balm containers. Add a few extra drops to the top after filling each container as the ingredients will shrink as they cool.
3. Cool completely to harden. Cover with cap and decorate or label as desired.

Well, first I had to get a couple of the “ingredients.” I had the coconut oil and the shea butter, but needed the beeswax and lip balm containers. The article on Passionate Homemaking had links to a seller, but I decided to check out Amazon, since I had reward points available, also wanted some coco butter and could potentially get free Super Saver shipping ;). So, I hopped on Amazon.com and purchased a bag of five 1 oz. bars of beeswax for $6.35 and a pack of 10 clear .15 oz. lip balm containers for $11.97. Not bad, but learned from a reader, Cheryl, that I could have done better on the lip balm containers by using “Amazon Prime” in my search terms and digging a little further in the results. She found 25 black containers for $13.97!! Live and Learn!!

Anywho, yesterday I got home and my Amazon shipment was at the door! I was sooooo tired because I’d been on the road for several hours, stuck in horrendous traffic on the turnpike as I was returning home from south Jersey. But, after changing and chilling for a bit, I couldn’t resist taking a stab at the lip balm recipe. And, let me tell you, it was soooo easy and quick!!! I grabbed an eye dropper from a hair product and cleaned it with some soapy water, then grabbed my Maychang essential oil and got to work!

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I decided to throw the balms into the fridge after finishing them last night. However, that was NOT a good idea! LOL!! The contents got too hard and I wasn’t able to turn the knobs to make the balm rise out of the container. But, when I placed one of the containers high over a burner to allow it to warm a little, it worked like a charm. So, in the future, I know to just let them cool at room temperature.

I used the balm last night and today and it’s very smooth and silky feeling. It doesn’t feel as thick or hard as chapstick, but it feels moisturizing and not at all waxy so far! So excited to have a natural and paraben free lip balm that is so easy to make!!

Finally, next time that I have extra, I’m going to try the hard lotion bars! At the end of the recipe post, the author indicated that leftovers can be poured into an ice cube tray to make hard lotion bars!! LOVE it!! Shoot, why wait for next time and leftovers?!?! I just might make another batch of the balm today!! I’m guessing that I can just store the hard lotion bar in a sandwich bag!

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Smooches!

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Are you a Chapstick addict? Would you ever try making your own? If you’ve made your own lip balm, what ingredients do you use in YOUR recipe?!? Any tips or tricks to share?

A DIY Christmas Gift: Coconut Oil Body Whip

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I was up until midnight last night getting this done, so I hope that my team likes them!! So, remember my Coconut Oil Body Whip post from last week? Well, I decided, “What a great little gift for my work team!!!” So, I picked up two 12 packs of these little 4 oz. Ball® quilted mason jars from Ace Hardware for $9.99 each and four 16 oz. jars of virgin coconut oil, one bottle of grapeseed oil, and one of bottle of Vitamin E oil from Trader’s Joe and got to work! I also picked up some decorative miniature Christmas ball ornaments and ribbon at the Dollar Store. I wanted to use cupcake papers to decorate the jars, but couldn’t find any jumbo ones in stores, so I opted for cutting tissue paper into circles to decorate the top of the jars. Since I had lavender and maychang essential oil at home already, I was good to go on the scents.  Oh, and I had also picked up some extra labels from Ace. Now, I was ready to get to work.

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Now, I LOVE the Maychang scented whip. But, the Lavender doesn’t smell like much to me and I added at least 30 drops of EO. So, I wouldn’t use that in the future and definitely have to find some other options. I bought some apricot kernel oil to try, but that didn’t smell like much either, so didn’t even bother using it. I also noted that the Trader Joe’s virgin coconut oil didn’t indicate whether it was refined or unrefined and didn’t smell as good to me as the Spectrum Unrefined Coconut Oil. So, though the TJ’s was cheaper ($5.99 for 16 oz.) compared to the $14.99 SALE price for 29 oz. jar of Spectrum, I would get the Spectrum in the future.

So yeah … gotta finish my Christmas shopping … since this is the ONLY thing I’ve done so far. Haven’t even gotten Wei a gift yet!!!! Better hit that CVS gift card kiosk soon!!! Think I’m playin’? LMBO!!

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So, what gift are you giving this year that makes you truly agree with the saying, “Giving is better than receiving?”

Although, below is one of the gifts that my team gave me earlier this week. And gotta say … receiving may be better than giving this time!!

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Look!!!! They’re beaming like the Bat Signal!!

P.S. — I Made This …

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Okay, what do you guys know about this? If you’re like me about a week ago, NOTHING! But now, I’m preparing to reel in a new, time-consuming obsession! About a week ago, a work friend tells me about this blog and book, P.S. — I made this …. The concept for the site was to serve as a compilation of tutorials for all these pretty simple and clever fashion/accessory DIY projects. My first question? “Is there sewing involved? I don’t do sewing.” She quickly responds, “No, a lot of it doesn’t require any sewing!” No sewing involved?! I’m all on this!

So, I check out the site for a hot sec that evening and am intrigued. But I gotta write posts. So, off I go. The following day, the same friend brings in the book version of the blog. I flip through the first several pages, return the book to her and, by the end of the day, the order on Amazon had been placed ($12.76 on Amazon vs. the $18.95 list price).

So yeah, if you love fun, seemingly easy DIY projects and are looking for frugal ways to spice up your wardrobe, you may want to check this out!

First on my “to do” list? One of these ADORABLE headbands (the pink one is in the book and looks even cuter there … ok, a little sewing is required for this one)!!

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Are you a DIY Dynamo? Wanna be? What DIY projects have you tried and loved? Where do you get your ideas?