November 28, 2014

DIY Orange Clove Gardener’s Soap

This is a heavenly scented bar soap for gardener’s soil stained hands, but it’s just as effective and wonderful for your mechanics work worn and grease slicked ones! The scents combine deliciously and leave your hands clean, lightly exfoliated, and moisturized.
DIY orange olive oil gardener's soap

Homemade soap is much simpler to make than you might think, and I prefer it as you can customize scents, colors, and shapes to suit you or as a gift for a loved one. Toss a couple of these yummy soaps in a basket with a new set of gardening tools, a sun hat and you have a lovely DIY gift for the gardener in your life.


Soap base
2 Tbsp. ground Clove
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Shea butter
2 vitamin E capsules ( or 2 tsp.)
Grated peel from 3 oranges
Soap mold
witch hazel in a spray bottle

DIY orange olive oil gardener's soap ingredients


1. To dry orange peel – grate oranges onto a paper towel using the larger grates, trying to just get peel not the white pith. Spread pieces out into a single layer and place in microwave for 20 second increments until dried and hard, sprinkle evenly into the bottom of molds.

grated orange peel for diy soap recipe
2. Cut soap base into 1”x1” cubes- the amount you use will vary depending on the size of your molds – my 4 mold container holds 6 liquid oz. each so for the purpose of this tutorial we will use my measurements. My 4 molds take about 9-10 pieces of soap base when combined with other ingredients- you may have to experiment a bit with your mold to determine exact amounts.
3. In a microwave safe bowl combine soap base cubes, olive oil, and shea butter- heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time. It takes about 1 ½ minutes to 2 minutes to liquefy.
4. Remove bowl from microwave carefully, stir in clove and pierce vitamin E capsule and disperse contents into mixture.
5. Pour into soap molds and spray lightly with witch hazel to cut down on bubbles.
6. Allow to harden overnight.

bar of orange olive oil soap
7. Remove from molds and keep in a dry, cool place to store.

Toss a couple of these yummy soaps in a basket with a new set of gardening tools, a sun hat and you have a lovely DIY gift for the gardener in your life.

Have you ever made soap?

Orange olive oil gardenern's soap
  About Jody: Jody is a Christian stay at home mom of 2 living in fun, and sunny Florida. She is passionate about: cooking, gardening, my backyard chickens, reading and scrapbooking. She loves taking all kinds of things apart and remaking it on her own.

You may also like these posts in the Nesting Skills Series:

Homemade Cinnamon Syrup

Homemade Liquid Soap

This is an original post from A Cultivated Nest.  If you are reading this anywhere other than  A Cultivated Nest, this content has been stolen.

My Chalkboard Kitchen Wall & Some Kitchen Organization

I wanted to show you guys my new chalkboard kitchen wall and a few little changes in the kitchen! My kitchen has been in a crazy state lately because I’m clearing my counters off, re-organizing cabinets and purging lots of stuff.

What a cute idea! A chalkboard wall with a  kitchen measurement conversion chart on it!

So this chalkboard project started because I  had lots of stuff sitting on this part of my kitchen counter (next to my cook top) that I moved to other places and then, since this area looked so nice, I just wanted a new look. :)  So I painted that wall with some chalkboard paint that I already had and for now I have a sort of kitchen measurement conversion chart on it.

DIY Toile Art

This is the before. I made these pictures I think about 10 years ago. They’re just pieces of toile fabric that I glued onto some cardboard and framed. This wall is a little strange in that the wall oven is behind it. This wall is actually covered in white with gold fleck formica! I’ve painted over it many many times because this kitchen has been about 7 different colors!

Cooking measurements chalkboard wall

This is the after. I thought cooking measurements would be cute for now.  I can always change it to something else like dinner menus or a saying later on. That’s the beauty of chalkboard – it’s definitely for those who like to change things up!

organize your cooking oils on a lazy susan

Some changes I made to this little counter top area -I used a Lazy Susan that I was using in my refrigerator to organize my most used oils (not sure I like it in the fridge – I think it took up too much space). I would have liked to have put the oils in the cabinet with the spices but those shelves don’t move so these bottles don’t fit. That’s my fancy Davis & Waddell pepper mill that I got at the thrift store in May!

Target Threshold white utensil holder

I don’t have a lot of drawers so I like to keep my larger utensils out since it makes them easy to grab when I’m cooking. I cook a lot! I sometimes cook 3 meals a day – most days at least 2. So whatever makes things easier for me!  I just got this cute utensil holder at Target – it’s part of the Threshold line.

black and white marble checkerboard floor and chalkboard wall

So this little counter space used to be filled with all kinds of things that have found new homes! Now I have a little more room to the left of my cook top and I was really shocked at what a difference this little change makes in my enjoyment of cooking!

Chalkboard wall in the kitchen with cooking measurements

My favorite thing though is the chalkboard wall!

I also re-organized my broom closet turned pantry and a few other things in the kitchen – so look for those future posts!

Have a great weekend!

Two-Tone DIY Wooden Spoon Plant Markers

I was looking for a cute new idea for some plant markers (last year I did paint stick plant markers) and came across several ideas using wooden spoons as plant markers. Which I thought was a good idea as wooden spoons are very inexpensive. You can find a bag of them just about anywhere. I found a bag of 8 at TJMaxx for $3.99 but I know the dollar stores have them as well as the big box stores.

DIY Wooden Spoon Plant Markers - so easy to make and inexpensive!

Last year I didn’t seal the paint stick plant markers I made and most of them didn’t make it  through the winter (I probably shouldn’t have left them in the garden). So this year I used some outdoor Mod Podge to seal my new plant markers because even though they weren’t hard to make they were a bit more labor intensive than just writing a plant name on a paint stick! So I want them to last!

I made two tone wooden spoon plant markers using the same blue that I used on my vegetable garden gate and arbor and back screen door. I’m trying to unify the backyard with color – so I’m using that aqua color and sprinkling it around.

cute herb plant marker made from a wooden spoon

How to make wood spoon plant markers


  1. wooden spoons
  2. 2 different colors of acrylic paint
  3. alphabet stickers
  4. Mod Podge Outdoor


1. paint your wooden spoon the color you want your lettering to be and let dry for a few hours

tutorial for how to make wooden spoon plant markers

2. spell out your plant name on the flat side of the spoon with your alphabet stickers

3. paint over the alphabet stickers with your 2nd paint choice. Let dry about 20 minutes.

how to make wooden spoon plant markers

4. Carefully remove your stickers. Use your fingernail and start at one edge and gently lift off.  As you remove the sticker you will see that the color you painted first will form your letter.

5. Seal with a few thin coats of Mod Podge Outdoor letting it dry 15 minutes or so between coats. Let your spoons dry for 24 hours before putting them outside (or skip the sealer part if you don’t care if they last more than one  season)

DIY wooden spoon plant marker

These are really easy to make and if you set up assembly line style you should be able to make these plant markers quickly!

I know what plants are what – the plant markers aren’t for me but for other family members who for some reason will not can not remember where the pepper plants are or what’s basil and what’s mint!


Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

Easy to make DIY wooden spoon plant markers

Back Door Area Makeover

Well I’m finally starting to see the light with some of our outdoor projects! Just in time too. It’s already hot early in the morning so soon working outside at any time is not going to be happening. Let me show you what we did with the area outside our back door.

Beautiful back door area makeover with lots of budget friendly ideas!

I finished painting the gingerbread screen door we installed and the door behind it.  I’m excited that I  can cross that off my many painting projects list! This is just an in stock wood screen door from Home Depot. It already has all the gingerbread trim on it. (If we were staying here you know I would have painted that door more than one color :) )

wooden screen door before and after makeover

I used to have my potting bench here that my husband made me out of reclaimed pallets and wood. Which worked for me but we didn’t think most people would be happy to see a huge bench outside the backdoor. So we moved the potting bench into the garden (I’ll show you the new potting area soon) and used a lot of what we had to make this cute little seating area.

Pretty outdoor seating area by a back door -aqua screen door and containers with topiaries

The glider I found at Goodwill many years ago and it was on our patio so we just moved it here. As you can imagine, I have lots of pots!

renew your old resin pots with spray paint!

I’ve had these resin containers for probably 10 years or more! All I did was 1. wash the dirt off the outside, 2.then a couple of light coats of spray paint ( Rustoleum Aqua). Then I 3.sanded the raised areas to let the original tan color show through a bit and I have new pots!

I did buy the topiaries but since they’re planted in pots they will be coming with me when we move. They’re underplanted with yellow Portulaca (which is heat and drought tolerant).

fun outdoor pillows and doormat complete the look for this back door makeover

I bought two outdoor cushions from Garden Ridge and a new door mat from Target. I also had to special order shutters for the window above the glider. It’s an odd size but they weren’t too pricey. I think they were $35 for 2 from Home Depot.  They match the other shutters on the house and give this area a finished look.

We also invested in some rubber patio pavers so we wouldn’t have to trim around and under the glider and pots when mowing the lawn. These we just set on top of the ground – no digging required!

pretty outdoor seating area makeover with lots of great ideas

I have a few hydrangeas next to this area. This one isn’t in bloom yet, but I think this area will look even prettier when they’re in bloom!

9 Cute Tea Cup Gardens

Turn old teacups into charming mini gardens!  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

9 Cute teacup gardens

These also make cute gifts!

Mini teacup garden by Camp Makery

Camp Makery has a wonderful step by step tutorial on how to make these super cute mini teacup gardens.

Tea cup herb garden

Teacup herb garden by The Brower Bird Stories

teacup planter pots

Teacup planter pots via Go Make Me

succulents planted in a tea cup

Succulents planted in a teacup by  Kerry Michaels @ About. Com Container Garden Ideas

basil growing in a teacup

Basil growing in a teacup via Creative Juice

cacti planted in teacups

Cacti in teacups via Casos de Casa

pansies in a teacup

Pansies in teacups via  My Place in the Sun

mini pond in a teacup

Little pond plants in  a teacup via BuzzFeed

teacup garden

HGTV Gardens has easy steps for creating this teacup garden

These are really simple to make!

DIY Fabric Wrapped Spring Wreath

This easy project is a great way to use up scraps of fabric! I made this fabric wrapped wreath for a  spring display that I’m working on in my dining room.

DIY fabric covered spring wreath

This is so easy and cute!


  • straw or styrofoam wreath form
  • 1 inch wide strips of fabric
  • push pins
  • other embellishments you might want to add like lace, rick rack, flowers, brooches etc

materials needed to make a fabric covered wreath

I used a small  straw wreath – 8 inches I believe. The 10 inch straw wreaths are $2.99 and I think the one I used was $1.99?(can’t remember).  You can find them in any craft store as well as thrift stores.

I made 1 inch wide strips of fabric since my wreath was small. I would use 2 inch wide strips for a larger wreath. The strips varied in length but most were at least 15 inches long.  You want to wrap your strips around at least 3 times.

pin fabric to wreath

Wrap your strip of fabric around the wreath and pin it at the back. Continue until the entire wreath is covered with our fabric strips and then add any other embellishments if you wish.

That’s it!

easy to make wreath using fabric scraps

Actually I think it would be just as cute for summer too!


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