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Make This: DIY Palo Santo Holder

by M.E. Gray

Palo santo holder

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:

Materials

Materials

 

Step

Step 1 | Palo santo holder

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. 

How to make a palo santo holder from air-dry clay

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.

Step

Step 2 | Palo santo holder

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.

Step 2 | How to make a palo santo stand

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. 

Step

Step 3 | Palo santo holder

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.

Step

Step 4 | Palo santo holder

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!

Step

Step 5 | Palo santo holder

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.

DIY Holy Wood Holder made from air-dry clay


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. 

Palo santo holder

Palo santo burner

DIY palo santo holder from air-dry clay and wire
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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. 

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How To: Arm-Knit a Blanket in Just One Hour!

by M.E. Gray

Arm knit blanket

Do you ever wish you could make a blanket yourself, but don't feel like you have the time to? Then a DIY arm knit blanket might be just the project for you! A chunky knit blanket can be completed in about an hour, and it's PERFECT for beginners. But what is "arm knitting," you might ask? Basically, it's regular knitting, but instead of using needles, you use your arms. As you can imagine, arms in needle terms are big. Really big. And that's exactly why we can whip up a DIY giant knit blanket in under an hour.

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How to Repaint Furniture | The Painted Dresser Project

by M.E. Gray

How to repaint a dresser

Ready for a fun before-and-after project? A boring Craigslist dresser is transformed into a vision of blue beauty, in just 10 steps! There is a right way to to achieve a great finish on a painted dresser, and there is certainly a wrong way, too. Sure, you could just slap on a coat of paint and call it a day, but impatience and rushing through the repainting process means sloppy results. However, we're here to share our careful step-by-step process, and to make sure you get it right the first time around so your Craigslist finds can shine!            

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by Jeran McConnel
Buffalo plaid table painting DIY

I love black and white, and what better pattern to show off this high contrast combo then buffalo check (also known as buffalo plaid). For the last few years, I've been adding more and more of this (usually) red-and-black flannel pattern known to my fall/winter wardrobe and home decor.  Last year, I decorated a whole Christmas tree for $10, and buffalo check was the main star.  

So, when I found this solid little table at a thrift store for $8, I decided to give it a giant gingham makeover.

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Make This: Bloody Good Halloween Bark

by M.E. Gray

Bloody Good Halloween Bark Recipe | Sweet Enough to Die For

Everyone's talking about costume parties and thriller flicks, but even as an adult I know Halloween is all about the candy. I wanted to make a spooky treat that was different than the usual mix of fun candies and white chocolate - I wanted something... darker. With bloody red candy melts and dark chocolate chips, this Halloween bark is sure to hit the darkest of spots.

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DIY Halloween Curio Boxes

by Alicia Lacy
DIY Halloween Curio Boxes


Halloween is coming, and with it an explosion of orange and black. The holiday's signature colors may be my least favorite color combination of all time. So, I put them in a box and it made all the difference. 

To make your own set of Halloween curios, here's what you'll need:

 

Supplies:

  • Paper mache or wooden curio box. I found mine at Michaels for less than $10. Here are some similar options - house and rectangle. 
  • ...

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How to: 3 DIY Fall-Inspired Bouquets Using The Same Materials

by Lidy Dipert

 

3 DIY Fall-Inspired Bouquets Using the same Materials

It's officially fall. Can you believe it? Saying good-bye to the hot sunny days and cocktails on the patio is enough to make anyone a bit bummed. So, why not treat yourself to a bunch of flowers to create some lovely bouquets to brighten the mood, all the while using the same materials!  The best part is, you don't have to be a professional florist or even have a lot of experience in flower arranging. It's about exploring and discovering new avenues of creativity step by step, while having fun of course!       

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Make This: DIY Incense Holder, Plus the Lowdown on Aromatherapy

DIY clay incense holder

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!       

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Save Money, Get Fit: How You Can Achieve Both Fiscal and Physical Fitness at the Same Time

by Amber Dickson
Yoga mat and participant
Photo: RawPixel/Pexels

Generally speaking, we all want to be physically healthier, and we all want to be more financially fit. Gains in both those spheres really boost our enjoyment of life, but attaining both those goals at the same time can seem intimidating. Can you save money and stay healthy? Do the two go hand-in-hand, or do they butt heads? Read on to learn about ways that will help you improve both your bodily and fiscal fitness. Put these tips into practice and reap two-for-one benefits!          

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Fall Style Guide: The Cutest and Coziest Fingerless Gloves

by Amber Dickson
Fingerless Gloves
Source: Martha Stewart

When the air starts to crisp up, wearing layers is key to being comfortable.  Fingerless gloves can be a fun and practical addition to your fall wardrobe.  They add warmth, style, and keep your fingers free for devices and other dexterous tasks.  Read on for a roundup of DIY, buy, and up-cycled options.  You will want to get this kind of cozy into your life.       

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DIY Some Self-Care: How to Make a Soothing Chai Spice Tub Tea

by Marlene Sauer
How to Make Chai Spice Tub Tea
Images by Marlene Sauer

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

No, I don't mean the Big C. My absolute favorite time of year is -- fall!

Every year when autumn hits here in New England, my senses come to life. Crisp, clear air; leaves to crunch through; snuggly scarves; cozy lit windows on dark, chill nights; there are so many little daily luxuries to savor.

And this year I'm adding another one, which will also help in my goal of better self-care: DIY chai spice tub tea!

Keep reading to see how easy it is to make your own chai spice tub tea!           

DIY Chai Spiced Tub Tea

I know, pumpkin spice latte is still the fall season drink-darling of the internet, but I'll choose a steaming cup of chai tea any day. That sweet and spicy scent sends me right into an autumn reverie. Since chai is both exhilarating and soothing, it's perfect for a stress-reducing aromatherapy bath.

While aromatherapy is often geared around specific essential oils that promote different benefits, you don't have to follow all the rules for a good self-care bath. We each have our own idea of what relaxes us. That's why I can't wait to have another soak in my DIY chai spice tub tea. It just melts all my tension away!

Plus, the epsom salt is known to relieve sore muscles, and black tea is full of antioxidants that are good for your skin. So this homemade tub tea is not only full of the joy of fall days, but it's good for you, too!

Since chai tea is full of complex flavors, this recipe does call for some whole spices. I am providing links to online sources in the materials, but the cheapest place to purchase whole spices is in bulk at a health or international food store. Bulk spices are really inexpensive when you're getting small amounts, so don't balk at the long ingredients list!

Okay, are you ready to make your own chai spice tub tea? For 5 "servings" of tub tea, you will need:

Materials

 

  • 1/2 cup epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons black assam tea (I used bagged tea because it's what I had on hand)
  • 4 tablespoons green cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons dried ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 5-8 pieces star anise
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
  • Paper tea sachets, or small muslin drawstring bags
  • A bowl
  • A jar with an airtight lid
  • A spoon
Note that this listing is for 50 drawstring bags! A health food store should sell them individually if you just want a few. 

Step

Measure all the ingredients, except cinnamon sticks, into the jar, and stir well until completely combined. You can use the spoon to gently crush the larger star anise pieces so they get evenly distributed.

Then, add the cinnamon sticks on top (they just are too big to be stirred).

 

Step

How to Make a Chai Spice Tub Tea

Fill each tea bag until its about 2/3 full. Place a cinnamon stick in each bag, and tie. 

That's it! When you are ready to use your chai spice tub tea, simply draw a bath, and place the sachet right into the water so it steeps, just like a drinkable tea. You can crush the bag in your fingers a bit to enhance the aroma. Bonus points for stirring an extra cup of epsom salts into the bath for even more benefit!

Then, recline into your chai scented tub and let your troubles simmer away.


Make homemade chai spice tub tea

DIY Chai Spice Tub Tea
Images by Marlene Sauer

 

I know it's SUPER TEMPTING to make a cup of chai tea to drink with the same batch while you're at it, but please don't drink this mix with epsom salt -- it works as a laxative when ingested. However, everything else is edible, so if you leave that out, you have a recipe for a delicious mug of chai!

These simple homemade tub tea sachets would make a great self-care gift, don't you think? Just add a little gift tag to each bag. Or, you can gift a whole jar of the tea blend with some sachets, so your recipient can customize the strength of each individual pouch.

How to Make a Chai Spice Tub Tea
Pin now, soak later!

But, this is one of those gifts I *may* end up keeping for myself!

What's your favorite way to unwind with some self-care? Tell us what relaxes you during this busy time of year! And, what do you think of this chai spice tub tea recipe?

 

 

 

Looking for more DIYs that celebrate the scents of fall? Give this simmer pot a try

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