This holiday season, a group of the Curbly writers decided to team up and each of us created a simple and stylish new Christmas ornament. We're calling it the "Curbly Ornament Challenge" but there's not much competition involved...just a lot of fun, seasonal crafting. See all of the ornaments here.
This year, I am really leaning toward simple and minimal Christmas decor. I purposely went through our boxes and boxes of decorations and intentionally brought out a few select pieces we loved and had a purpose for. Our home has glimpses of Christmas in every room, without the overhaul. Likewise, when it comes to Christmas ornaments I want something that's neat and fresh. It's not always easy to find, which is why these modern mountain clay ornaments are the perfect solution! They take no time at all and are certainly fun to make.
As winter approaches, so does more required time indoors. All that time inside makes my home feel stuffy, cramped, and stale. In essence, my house feels like it's full of bad energy. I recently discovered palo santo, and I'm really enjoying the way it seems to cleanse the spaces around me, and even purify my own energies. Keep reading to find out more about this holy wood, and how to make a minimal palo santo holder.
What is Palo Santo?
If you're unfamiliar with palo santo (which, until recently, I was too!), it's a type of wood originating from Central and South America. Burning this wood is believed to promote healing because of its anti-bacterial properties. It's commonly burned in a ritual setting in order to purge bad energies, however, it also smells amazing. The scent is woody but fresh, and it's a great alternative if you don't care for the richer smells of incense.
Where Can I Buy Palo Santo?
I picked up my pack of palo santo from a local plant shop, and I have also seen it for sale at some natural food stores and cooperatives. You can also buy palo santo on Amazon, at CB2, and off of Etsy.
How to Make a Palo Santo Holder
Okay, you have your palo santo, now where to burn it? You want to set it in a non-flammable vessel like a dish or shallow bowl, as it will produce hot ash. Or, you can go one step further and make a simple palo santo holder like this one:
Roll a ball of air-dry clay to about 1/4 inch thickness. Ultimately, you'll want a rectangular shape, three or four times the size of a piece of palo santo.
Once you've rolled your clay into an even slab, cut out a rectangular shape using a craft knife or kitchen knife. Don't worry if the edges are jagged - we'll clean them up later.
Cut a small piece of wire, about 4-5 inches long. Twist the bottom of the wire in a circle to create a stand, with the end of the wire sticking straight up.
Press the circular end of the wire into the slab of clay, towards one end of the slab. Press it in until the base almost reaches the bottom, but doesn't show through. Next, use a little clay to cover the base of the wire. Smooth out with your fingers.
Clean up the clay with water. Use a dab of water on your fingertips to smooth over any rough edges. Then, bend the edges of the slab upward into a U-shape.
Leave the clay in a dry or sunny spot to dry for 24 hours, or overnight.
Once the clay is completely dry, you can do any final smoothing with a bit of fine-grit sandpaper. Be gentle as you sand, and don't apply any uneven pressure to the palo santo holder - you don't want it to crack!
Use a bit of gold paint to decorate the edges of the palo santo holder. Let the paint dry completely, and your palo santo holder is ready!
Use the wire to wrap around the end of a stick of palo santo, and burn away.
How Do I Burn Palo Santo?
To light and burn a stick of palo santo, you'll need a constant flame, like a candle or a lighter. Hold a flame under one end of the palo santo stick, and allow it to catch on fire. Let it burn for 30 seconds to a minute, then extinguish it by blowing it out. It should continue to produce smoke long after the flame has gone out.
I am really enjoying the scent of this wood. Sometimes candles and incense can be overly aromatic for my tastes, but palo santo produces a clean, light smell unlike any other. And it's going to be a great way to purify my stuffy home in the dead of winter.
One of my favorite things about the autumn months is coming home at night and snuggling by the heater under warm blankets with candles or incense burning in the background. The heavenly scents help me to unwind after a long day at work, and incense holders are so easy to make that there's no excuse not to have a stick or two burning away while you cozy up and get stuck into that good book. Click through to learn how to make your own DIY incense holder, and head to the bottom of the post for more information about the benefits of incense!
One of the things I love about air plants - also known as tillandsia - is that they can be displayed in virtually unlimited ways. With soil out of the picture, an air plant can live in any container, on any ledge, in any opening, on any surface; they are one of the most versatile plants in terms of home decor. Which, for someone like me who loves crafting things, is the gift that keeps on giving. Looking to fill a bit of wall space, this wall-mounted air plant holder does the trick. Keep reading to see how easy it was to make!
I think we can all agree that moon phases continue to be all the rage. Not wanting to pass up on this bohemian trend, I brought moon symbols into my home with a lunar wind chime - keep reading to see how!
Every now and then we like to share a necklace tutorial over here at Curbly... and today is one of those days! This is no ordinary necklace tutorial though - this clay pendant tassel necklace is a bold, in-your-face statement piece that will surely garner compliments over and over again. And it's really quite easy to make! So let's get started.
There are no two ways about it... I'm a plant person. And my obsession has gotten so bad that I'm running out of places to put my greenery. So today I'm sharing a fun project that will give you another spot to display your beloved succulents - on the wall!
Air dry clay is such a fun, versatile craft supply. You can use it to make just about anything and paint it whatever colors you want once it's dry. Plus, since you don't have to bake it, I think it's great for dorm DIY projects! It's dorm decor season, and this simple clay mountain photo holder is the perfect way to display your favorite photos in your dorm or in your home.
As nursery trends change, the traditional pinks and blues are slowly being pushed out in favor of current, updated looks. Parents are experimenting more and more with bolder hues, playful patterns, or simply less of it all. It's easy to see why the minimal nursery look is gaining in popularity. There are fewer elements to worry about, there aren't any color-related gender-indicators (which makes styling ahead of time a breeze), and the color palette is almost non-existent. If you're looking to decorate a minimal nursery or want to give a gift to a no-fuss parent-to-be, you can craft this sweet planetary mobile quickly and easily.
I don't know about you, but I can't afford expensive furniture. I've grown accustomed to cheaper options like IKEA and Target, where I've found pieces that I absolutely love with one problem - the hardware is very plain. After my latest furniture purchase of a new media unit with two cabinet doors, I decided to upgrade the hardware myself and make DIY faceted handles out of clay.
Plants are everywhere these day it seems- don't you think? Just browse Pinterest and before long, you will see the influx of images where plants are the star of the show. Bringing plants into the home, big or small, are a sure way to add warmth and interest into any space. And this simple DIY Hanging Clay Planter is a fun option for displaying small plants!
Ring dishes are important. Truly. But sometimes you just need a dish that's big enough for those watches and sunnies. The solution: These faux Terrazzo tiles. They have stolen my heart and look like an easy afternoon project!
Airplants might just be the ultimate when it comes to plant etiquette. Similar to cactus, they require very little water making them *almost* indestructable. I am always on the look out for unique ways to hang and display your plants and this copper and clay DIY doesn't disappoint!
Clay! Who doesn't love it? The air-dry stuff is so easy to work with and dries a beautiful white. It's just begging to be manipulated into something great! Here are 15 of my favorite projects for the home and they're all made with clay! Those marbled dishes? They're calling to me!
Little bowls are a handy thing to have around the house. They're great for holding jewelry, keys or even office supplies. And what's better than a small bowl? A brightly colored small bowl with a pretty pattern! Click through to find out what these lovely pieces look like when they're finished.
Wall art and DIY planters are nearly always at the top of my list of DIYs to create, for whatever reason. And I recently stumbled across a project that combines both of the things into one super cool clay DIY: clay pocket planters that hang on the wall. This one is a must-try.
I love air dry clay and the endless possibilities it gives. You can make just about anything! And while painting it is always fun, leaving it simple and white is my favorite option. These torn clay vases are easier (and cheaper!) to make than you would believe!