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Makers Make Stuff - Make it Yourself at Home

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  • Brian Welch
  • January 06, 2020 02:59:00 PM
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A Little About Us

Makers Make Stuff endeavors to teach people how fun, easy and healthy it is to make stuff yourself. Don't be a slave to pre-packaged and chemically ridden products from the grocery store. It's a lot easier than you might think to make these things yourself and we guarantee you will have fun doing it.

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  • Make Your Own Food
  • Stop buying all of your stuff pre-made and packaged in a box. It's easier than you might think to make some of your favorite foods. This blog is more than just a recipe site, we look at things you can make on your own that you would normally buy in a store already made for you.
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    How to Make Homemade Tea

    Growing and harvesting tea leaves and making your own, homemade tea can lead to amazing health benefits, and can also get you more in touch with nature. However, harvesting tea leaves requires a lot of patience and can be a bit of a challenge. Are you up for it? All You Need to Know About... Read More The post How to Make Homemade Tea appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Growing and harvesting tea leaves and making your own, homemade tea can lead to amazing health benefits, and can also get you more in touch with nature. However, harvesting tea leaves requires a lot of patience and can be a bit of a challenge. Are you up for it?

    All You Need to Know About Growing Camellia Sinensis

    The camellia sinensis, also known as the tea plant, is the basis of all black and green teas. These are usually the strongest teas. 

    The tea plant is a flowering plant that grows little white flowers in the fall that have a strong, sweet scent. It’s the leaves of the plant that are important, though. The leaves can be harvested once the plant has grown for at least 3 years.

    The tea plant is a shrub that can grow to about 30 feet tall if you don’t prune it. It is a hardy plant that can grow in many different climates, but needs about 4-5 months per year of hot, humid weather. The tea plant also needs plenty of water. So, unless it rains, make sure to water your plants thoroughly every day.

    If you’re planting your tea plant in a container, you’ll need a container at least 5-gallons big. Use a sandy, acidic soil and place the pot somewhere it will get at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day. You may also benefit from using acidic fertilizers. 

    If you’re planting your tea plant in the ground, you’ll need to give it at least 2 feet of space all around it. 

    Using the Tea Leaves

    The best homemade tea is made from the youngest leaves of the tea plant. So, harvest your tea leaves when they are fresh and new. Making black and green tea requires different tea leave preparation. Let’s begin with black tea.

    How to Make Black Tea

    Black tea can reduce risk of heart attack and heart disease, as well as diabetes. It can reduce your blood pressure, and risk of stroke, and can even reduce the risk of cancer. Black tea also contains caffeine, and is a good alternative to morning coffee.  

    Step 1 – Crush the tea leaves. When making black tea from your own tea plant, harvest young leaves. Press and crush them until they turn a dark color, and then let them rest in a cool place for at least 3 hours. 

    Step 2 – Dry out the leaves. You can easily do this in the oven. Set the oven to 250 F and dry out the leaves for 15-20 minutes. 

    Step 3 – To make the tea, bring a cup of water to boil on the stove. Then, take the water off the heat and add in the tea leaves. You’ll need 1 teaspoon of leaves per 1 cup of water. 

    Step 4 – Let the tea steep. Cover the tea and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, taste. For stronger tea, let it steep longer. For weaker tea, pour in more water. 

    To make your tea a little more interesting, you can add in a squirt of lemon juice and/or honey, as well as a bit of grated ginger. 

    If you choose not to use home-grown tea leaves, simply purchase the leaves and begin your tea-making at step 3. 

    How to Make Green Tea

    Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks in the world, as it contains an extremely high amount of antioxidants. It can help prevent obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, and is anti-inflammatory, too. Green tea also contains caffeine, though not as much as black tea does. 

    Step 1 – Dry the leaves. Harvest young leaves and let them dry in the shade for about 3 hours.

    Step 2 – Steam the leaves. Place the leaves into a steamer on the stove and steam the leaves for a minute. 

    Step 3 – Dry out the leaves. Set the oven to 250 F and put the leaves on a tray. Let the leaves dry out in the oven for 15-20 minutes. 

    Step 4 – To make the tea, heat up some water to 180 F, then take the water off the stove. In another pot or container, put 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per 1 cup of water, then pour the water on top of the leaves. 

    Step 5 – Let the tea steep. Cover the tea and let it sit for 1 minute, then taste. For stronger tea, let it steep longer. For weaker tea, add more water. 

    If you choose to buy tea leaves instead, simply start at step 4.  

    Purchasing Tea Leaves

    For those of us who don’t have the ability – or patience – to grow our own tea leaves, there are many purchasing options available. Finding plain camellia sinensis leaves for sale can be tricky, so try these instead.

    Ahmad Tea London

    To make black tea, buy dried Earl Grey leaves. Earl Grey tea is a type of black tea. So, earl grey leaves will work just fine.

    Ahmad Tea London is an established tea company used all around the world. There are few teas that can compare. Plus, it’s sold at a very reasonable price.

    Pantenger Himalayan Green

    To make green tea, use prepared green tea leaves. Pantenger is a Japanese tea company that produces non-GMO, organic teas.

    How to Make Herbal Tea

    Making herbal tea can be a much more creative process than making tea from tea leaves. With herbal teas, you have more room for experimentation. Homemade herbal teas also offer a wider range of flavors than other teas.

    If you like experimenting with flavors and creating your own recipes, then making herbal teas is a great project for you. 

    Herbal Tea – Step-By-Step

    Making any herbal tea will require the same steps. So, follow these steps to make whatever herbal tea your taste buds desire. 

    Step 1 – Gather your ingredients. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of dried herbs per 1 cup of water. 

    Step 2 – Steep the tea. In a container, add in the herbs, then pour just-boiling water over them. Let your tea steep for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes have passed, taste the tea every 30 seconds until it is strong enough for you. 

    Step 3 – Strain the tea. Pour the tea through a strainer and into a teacup.

    Best Herbs for Homemade Tea

    Not all herbs make good teas, and some herbs have better benefits than others. So, here’s a list of the most common herbal tea ingredients and what they can do for you. 

    Chamomile can reduce your chances of heart disease, digestive problems, and cancer. Besides being a great sleep aid, it also helps fade acne scars and prevent breakouts. 

    Lemongrass improves circulation and promotes clear skin. It also helps boost your immunity and lower your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

    Mint helps fight bad breath, while also helping with digestion and stress. 

    Ginger strengthens your immune system and can relieve cold and allergy symptoms. Ginger can also prevent cancer. Use fresh ginger in teas.

    Licorice helps relieve inflammatory pain and constipation. It also helps reduce stress and protect your skin and teeth. 

    Elder flowers boost your immune system and respiratory functions, as well as promote circulation. 

    Lavender is calming, making it a great sleep aid. It also improves skin, reduces stress, and relieves pain. 

    Those are just a few of the many herbs that can go into delicious herbal teas. You can find dried herbs at grocery stores and health food stores, as well as online stores.

    Tea Bags

    To pre-proportion your ingredients and plan ahead for the next time you want to drink homemade tea, filling up your own tea bags is a good idea. However, finding a good tea bag can be difficult.

    Tea bags have to be thick enough that they don’t dissolve in hot water, and thin enough that the herbs inside can still infuse the water. We recommend the BetyBedy Tea bags that can be found on Amazon.com. 

    These tea bags are made of wood pulp, making them biodegradable and eco-friendly. Plus, they close with a drawstring, which makes opening and closing them very easy. The reviews of this product are generally good, with only a few people complaining that the bags are too thick.

    Herbal Tea Recipes

    To make any of the following teas, simply look at the ingredients and use the instructions above to make your own tea. 

    Chamomile, Honey, Lemon Tea

    To make 1 cup of tea, you’ll need 1 tbsp dried chamomile leaves, 1 tbsp dried lemongrass, and honey (as desired). 

    Ginger Mint Tea

    To make 1 cup of tea, you’ll need 1 tbsp dried mint leaves and ½ tsp of dried ginger. 

    Lavender and Elder Flower Tea

    To make 1 cup of tea, you’ll need 1 tbsp dried lavender and 1 tbsp dried elder flower. 

    The post How to Make Homemade Tea appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How To Make a Raspberry Pi Game Console

    The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that revolutionizes DIY tech for tech makers and DIYers. Today we are going to be talking about building a Raspberry Pi game console! Created in 2012 by Raspberry Pi, the mini computer was supposed to bring technology to disadvantaged areas in a super mobile and small format.... Read More The post How To Make a Raspberry Pi Game Console appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that revolutionizes DIY tech for tech makers and DIYers. Today we are going to be talking about building a Raspberry Pi game console! Created in 2012 by Raspberry Pi, the mini computer was supposed to bring technology to disadvantaged areas in a super mobile and small format. The Raspberry Pi computer has opened the door for thousands of cool DIY gadgets and has made computers feasible in many regions of the world.

    We’ve talked about building a DIY Bartop Arcade Game using a Raspberry Pi computer. Now we want to show you some of the user-friendly kits out there to use a Raspberry Pi computer to build a handheld gaming console.

    The Raspberry Pi Computer: 

    We now have four different versions of the Raspberry Pi computer since its debut in 2012. Unlike other technology, the older versions of the Raspberry Pi are still useful. If you plan to create a pretty basic digital sign for your business or require less functionality, one of the older (and cheaper) versions of the Raspberry Pi will work perfectly for your application.

    With the Bartop Arcade Game, we recommended the Raspberry Pi 3 because the newest Raspberry Pi four is not compatible with most arcade control and buttons available.

    The Raspberry Pi 4 has some exciting features: 

    • Available in sizes of one, two, and four GB of RAM 
    • Wireless capabilities
    • Bluetooth capabilities
    • 4 USB ports (2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0) 
    • Ethernet
    • 2 Micro HDMI ports (That support 4K) 
    • Enhanced Graphics
    • DSI Display Port
    • CSI Camera Port
    • 3.5 mm Audio and Composite Video Jack
    • Micro SD Card slot
    • Powered by USB-C 

    Every version of the Raspberry Pi is still in production, which means you can choose the device that works best for your purposes. If you’re building a digital sign for your business, you might not need all of the features of the Raspberry Pi 4. If you’re building a 4k smart mirror, on the other hand, the Raspberry Pi 4 will make that project come alive.

    The one downside to the Raspberry Pi 4, is the new connectors and additional USB ports mean your cases from your previous Pi’s won’t fit. Raspberry Pi recommends that you order a new case for your Raspberry Pi 4, but the good thing is they are not expensive.

    Building a Raspberry Pi Handheld Game Console: 

    Building a Raspberry Pi game console using a DIY kit is fun and easy, and takes very few actual “tech” skills. To make it easier on us newbies, there is a vast DIY tech and Raspberry Pi community online. Raspberry Pi DIY videos and tutorials are all over and easy to find.

    The most challenging part is sourcing legal game RAMS. Learning how to program those games onto your Raspberry Pi computer can take some patience. To do this, you need to download and install Retro Pi on your Micro SD card. Loading the software onto your Raspberry Pi is done by connecting your SD card to your regular PC. An SD card reader is handy for doing this.

    If you’re using a Raspberry Pi 4, the USB C connection allows you to connect your Raspberry Pi directly to your PC to program your SD card that way!

    Handheld Raspberry Pi Game Console Kits: 

    Raspberry Pi game console

    Waveshare Game Hat for Raspberry Pi

    This make-your-own game experience kit comes with MOST everything needed to create your handheld game console. The console kit comes with a 3.5in 480 resolution screen for game viewing and play. The Waveshare is compatible with the Raspberry Pi zero up to the 3B.

    The downside to this game console is the handheld console is not fully enclosed. You’re not going to want to stuff this console inside your suitcase or backpack without some protection.

    What you need to make the Waveshare Work: 

    Tech Skills Needed: 

    • Use your PC to upload Retro Pi and games to your SD card. See our post on building an arcade game to learn how to program your SD card for play. 

    That’s it! The Waveshare kit comes with all of the hardware needed to build the console. This kit would be perfect for a newbie or even a kid looking to get into the DIY tech hobby. At just $48, you can create some fun STEM projects with your kids with this affordable kit.

    GeekPi Retroflag:

    This kit includes JUST about everything you need, including the Raspberry Pi and the SD Card.

    The GeekPi Retroflag is a Gameboy inspired case that looks and feels like the real thing. For $98, the only things you need to purchase separately are the AA batteries and an SD card reader to program your micro SD card.

    The GeekPi kit comes with a Raspberry Pi Zero W, but it is also compatible with a Raspberry Pi Zero.

    The kit also includes:

    • 32GB micro SD card and SD card protector Case
    • Carry Case
    • Flannel Bag
    • Heatsink
    • Instruction Manual
    • Headphone Jack

    The only technical skills required are learning how to program the Retro Pi software and Game RAMS onto your micro SD card. For $98, this all-inclusive kit is an excellent Raspberry Pi game console kit for any Gameboy lover!

    TAPDRA Raspberry Pi Zero Handheld:

    This kit comes in a bit more expensive at $149. The added costs come from the incredible amount of games and software already pre-loaded onto the 128 GB SD card! If you want your kids to get into DIY Tech, but you’re worried about letting them download software and game RAMS off of the internet, this kit is perfect. The SD card is pre-loaded with the Retro Pi Software and over 14,000 games. This kit’s fun comes in learning how to install the components and put the handheld game together.

    The Kit Includes:

    • Gaming System and Emulation software
    • Gameboy Inspired handheld Case
    • Copper Heatsink
    • 128GB MicroSD Card
    • Raspberry Pi Zero
    • SD Card Reader
    • DC Power Cable
    • Instruction Manual
    • Raspberry Pi Zero

    All you need is to purchase the AA Batteries or use the included DC power cable.

    To introduce yourself or your kids into game building using a Raspberry Pi Computer, this kit requires minimal software skills. While a slightly heftier price tag, the games are a huge perk since it can be tricky to download games that you don’t already own legally.

    Why the Raspberry Pi is So Popular: 

    The Raspberry Pi is a sleek and affordable piece of equipment that makes computer technology accessible. You can use a Raspberry Pi 4 to build quite an impressive PC for an impressively low price tag.

    The number of tech gadgets created using a Raspberry Pi increases by the day, and you too can make smart home gadgets at an affordable price using a Rasberry Pi. We’re thinking of trying a smart mirror next!

    What do you want to build using a Raspberry Pi? 

    Check out some of our DIY Tech Posts!

    The post How To Make a Raspberry Pi Game Console appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    Making a DIY Raspberry Pi Arcade Game

    Did you know that DIY is more than homemade beer recipes and make it yourself body products? Tech curious folks have been using products to create DIY tech gadgets or new inventions since humans first developed stone tools. The Raspberry Pi is a small, versatile computer that is so tiny it fits in your hand!... Read More The post Making a DIY Raspberry Pi Arcade Game appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Did you know that DIY is more than homemade beer recipes and make it yourself body products? Tech curious folks have been using products to create DIY tech gadgets or new inventions since humans first developed stone tools. The Raspberry Pi is a small, versatile computer that is so tiny it fits in your hand! In today’s post, we’re going to talk about DIY tech and making a Raspberry Pi Arcade Game using some easy to gather supplies and a tiny but powerful computer.

    We hope that you eventually get so tech-savvy that you can make a tech gadget like the Raspberry Pi Arcade game from scratch. But for now, we want to show you how to get started with some kits that are so easy to follow along with that your kids can do it. These Raspberry Pi Arcade games are excellent for promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

    But first, let us drop some knowledge.

    What is a Raspberry Pi Computer? 

    Raspberry Pi computer

    Around 2012 the makers of the Raspberry Pi computer saw the opportunity to market DIY or Maker tech. Over the last decade, tech lovers have created thousands of DIY tech gadgets using the four different versions of the Raspberry Pi computer.

    Tech geeks make smart mirrors, add blockers, classic gaming systems, home security cameras, and more using the Raspberry Pi computer.

    The perks of the Raspberry Pi computer include: 

    • Small (easily concealed within a tech gadget). 
    • Low power draw
    • Fully customizable

    The Raspberry Pi has 4 USB ports, a micro SD card slot, HDMI port, an ethernet jack, wifi capabilities, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and more. It’s completely customizable. The micro SD card acts as the hard drive for your Raspberry Pi computer. You can upload programs and run software onto your SD card to drive your Raspberry pi gadget!

    The Raspberry Pi can run Linux or even Windows!

    The Raspberry Pi is a great way for people to build a customizable and affordable computer that runs fast!

    There is even a vast online community of tech makers that you can lean on for support as you are learning how to use and build with a Raspberry Pi computer.

    For an excellent overview of all of the capabilities of the latest model of the Raspberry Pi computer (Raspberry Pi 4), check out this video here!

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation:

    If the Raspberry Pi computer doesn’t sound cool enough, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charitable organization that works hard to get computers and technology into peoples’ hands worldwide. The foundation works to make tech, innovation, and creativity possible for anyone (especially students) around the world.

    Building a Raspberry Pi Arcade Game: 

    A tabletop or bar top Raspberry Pi arcade game is a great project to get your gaming minded kids involved with STEM subjects. Instead of buying them the latest SNES system to passively play on, you can purchase the supplies to build a tabletop arcade-style two-player game together!

    If you don’t have kids, this is still a fun project for a DIY maker who loves tech and retro arcade-style games.

    A note on the legality of owning and playing these retro games:

    To be safe in the eyes of the law when downloaded and playing these retro-style games, you must own a physical copy of the game to be legal in the downloading and playing of the emulated games in a Raspberry Pi computer.

    Dig into your old stuff left in your parent’s attic and find your retro super Nintendo games, and you are safe to play on your DIY Raspberry Pi Arcade! 

    Supplies Needed to Build a Raspberry Pi Arcade Game: 

    DIY Arcade game
    • Arcade Cabinet.
    • Arcade Style Buttons and Joysticks (enough for two players).
    • Raspberry Pi Computer: For this project, we recommend using the Raspberry Pi Model B Board. Not all joysticks and buttons can work with the newest Raspberry Pi 4. The Raspberry Pi 4 is more powerful and faster if you want to search for controls or arcade buttons to work with the latest model. 
    • A Micro SD Card: We like this card that is preloaded with the RetroPi and games. RetroPi is the software needed to emulate your favorite retro games. *You can only run the games that you own a physical copy. Otherwise, you are violating copyright law.* The games you don’t own should be deleted off of the SD card. 
    • SD Card Reader: Needed to format your SD card on your computer to work with your Raspberry Pi. 
    • Monitor (Up to a 27″ Widescreen LED screen will fit the above arcade cabinet).
    • Optional Computer Speakers: if you want louder music and game sounds than your LED screen can offer. 
    • A Micro USB Cable: This serves as the power source for your Raspberry Pi Computer
    • Power Strip (Optional for inside your arcade cabinet)
    • Zip ties: To tidy up the wires inside of your arcade cabinet
    • Case with a cooling fan to keep your raspberry pi computer safe and protected. 
    • Primer and paint to customize your arcade cabinet
    • Design software to create a customized label for your arcade cabinet. A Cricut or even a 3D printer would be awesome to make your arcade cabinet look professional. Vinyl labels on the Cricut are perfect for labeling the arcade-style button too! 

    Software Requirements: 

    The program, RetroPi, is necessary to run your game ROMS on the DIY Raspberry Pi arcade. IF you don’t want to use the preloaded Micro SD card, there is an excellent tutorial on the software requirements HERE.

    IF you haven’t already done so, we recommend you check out the Raspberry Pi Reddit page. There are tons of tutorials, tips, tricks, and a great DIY tech community at your fingertips.

    **Another note about game Piracy**

    We want you to be careful in your search for game ROMs on the internet. If you can’t find your physical copies of older games to download game ROMS onto your micro SD card legally, this website has lots of free (and legal!) game ROMS for your to choose.


    Seriously though, how would you feel if someone stole your creativity? 

    Assembling your Raspberry Pi Arcade Game: 

    1. Paint and Customize your Arcade Cabinet: You want your arcade cabinet thoroughly dry before you start messing with the electronics and software set up. 
    2. Install your monitor into your Arcade Cabinet: Some builders choose to use a plexiglass screen protector over the monitor and the control panel (button and joysticks). If you want to include plexiglass, here is an excellent tutorial for that. A Vesa mount of very helpful in installing and mounting your monitor inside your arcade cabinet.
    3. Hook Up the Controls: Normally, this would be the most complicated part of the electric hookups. Most joysticks and buttons require sodering and following directions precisely. These Joystick and Buttons use an encoder board and pin slots to connect the controls to the encoder board easily. The encoder board then connects to the Raspberry Pi by USB. The Raspberry pie has 4 USB slots. 

    Once you connect your controls, the monitor plugs into the Raspberry Pi via HDMI Cable.

    Connect your optional speakers to the Raspberry Pi’s 3.5 mm headphone jack.

    Connect your power supply.

    Be sure to make all of your connections before plugging in the power cord for your Raspberry Pi computer. You want all of the components recognized on startup.

    Playing Your DIY Raspberry Pi Arcade Game: 

    With the preloaded and configured SD card, you should be able to plug in and play your arcade games as soon as your build is complete.

    If you want to try your hand as installing the software and game ROMS onto a blank SD card yourself, here is a great tutorial to try!

    Using the Raspberry Pi Computer

    The Raspberry Pi makes computing and tech DIY easy and affordable for almost anyone. We love all of the different DIY tech we could try with the Raspberry Pi computer!

    What kind of DIY Tech will you build with a Raspberry Pi computer? 

    Check out some of our other DIY Gadget Posts!

    The post Making a DIY Raspberry Pi Arcade Game appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    DIY Face Mask Ideas

    Face masks are quite popular among younger generations these days. With the birth of dozens of new face mask companies within the past few years, face masks are becoming almost as common as face lotion and overnight creams. But, rather than spend your money buying a face mask, look around your house for common ingredients... Read More The post DIY Face Mask Ideas appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Face masks are quite popular among younger generations these days. With the birth of dozens of new face mask companies within the past few years, face masks are becoming almost as common as face lotion and overnight creams. But, rather than spend your money buying a face mask, look around your house for common ingredients that you can use to make your own!

    Making face masks at home out or natural, easy to find ingredients is a great DIY project that anyone can do.

    You could buy face masks at a store, but no matter how natural they say they are, there is a good chance that they contain preservatives and other chemicals that are more harmful than good. If you want to get creative and make your own face masks, you’ll need to use only the best ingredients. 

    That’s where this article comes in handy. To find out what ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen are good for your skin, keep reading! 

    Best Natural Face Mask Ingredients

    One of the more common uses for face masks is to alleviate dry skin. Whether your skin is suffering due to a new medication, cold weather, or even if dry skin is in your DNA, there is more often than not a cure for you. 

    Relieving acne and redness are other common reasons for using face masks. Whatever your reason, there are some ingredients you should utilize and others that you should steer clear of. 

    Natural lotions can often do the trick, but for more long-term effects, a hydrating face mask will be your best bet. So, if you want to get creative and make your own face masks, here is a list of some of the many natural ingredients that are great for the skin.

    Dana Tentis

    When making a moisturizing face mask, use some of these ingredients:

    • Grape seed oil preserves your skin with vitamin C and E, making your skin softer and more elastic. It even helps even out skin tone, too. 
    • Olive oil is rich in vitamins K and E, and has antioxidants that soften and prevent your skin from aging. 
    • Coconut oil increases lipids, also known as fats, on your skin’s surface, making it more hydrated. 
    • Honey, both raw and processed, has a history of being used to cure dry skin. It creates a seal over your skin that keeps moisture in and leaves you with smooth skin.
    • Aloe Vera is one of the best natural moisturizers you can use. It helps not only with dry skin, but with different forms of eczema, too. 
    • Sunflower seed oil hydrates skin with essential fatty acids. It can also protect skin from inflammation and irritation. 

    When making an anti-acne face mask, use some of these ingredients:

    • Cucumber is often used to relieve puffiness around the eyes, but it can also soothe your skin and get rid of some redness. 
    • Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants that can drastically improve skin conditions when used in masks and facials. 
    • Plain yogurt contains lactic acid which helps dry out acne. 
    • Lime juice helps get rid of your skin’s excess acne-causing oils. 
    • Strawberries can soothe inflamed skin due to its antioxidants and vitamin C content.
    • Garlic has antibacterial properties that help reduce swelling and kill acne-causing bacteria.

    While there are ingredients that are great for your skin, there are other ingredients that you should stay away from:

    • Alcohol, when applied directly to the skin, can leave you with itchy, red, dry patches.  
    • Most essential oils are not always as essential as they seem. They are known to irritate skin more than help it — especially the aromatic oils. 
    • Petrolatum creates a barrier over your skin, making it seem like your skin is soft and hydrated, but ultimately leaves your skin drier than before. 
    • Coal tar is found in hundreds of makeup products and is mainly used as a coloring agent. When coal tar is applied to your skin, it can cause skin irritation, dryness, and acne. 
    • Triclosan is often found in soaps and cosmetics due to its ability to elongate shelf life and to prevent mold. However, triclosan causes skin and eye irritation and can even affect your hormones. 

    Easy DIY Face Mask Recipes

    If you want to make your own face mask, you can get creative with your ingredient combinations. Look at the list above of all the great natural ingredients you can use, and start coming up with your own mask ideas. Or, you can try the following combinations. 

    Before putting anything on your face, though, make sure to test it out on a less obvious area of your body, like your arm or neck. This way, if you have a negative reaction to any of the ingredients, you won’t be damaging the delicate skin on your face.

    Avocado + Honey + Oatmeal

    @estudiobloom

    The avocado and raw honey hydrate your skin and prevent breakouts while the oatmeal helps exfoliate and get rid of any dry, flaky skin. 

    Step 1 – Combine ½ a fresh avocado, a tablespoon of raw honey, and a sprinkling of oatmeal in a bowl.

    Step 2 – Gently rub the mask onto your previously washed face with small circles. 

    Step 3 – Use slightly warm water to wash the mask off after about 10 minutes, then pat dry.

    Coconut oil + Lime juice + Honey

    @matthew_t_rader

    The coconut oil and honey give your skin a rejuvenated glow while the lime juice helps fight bacteria and prevent breakouts.

    Step 1 – Combine 2 tablespoons of natural honey, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and ½ a tablespoon of lime juice into a bowl. Mix well. 

    Step 2 – Apply the mask to your freshly washed face and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

    Step 3 – Use slightly warm water to wash the mask off, then pat dry. 

    Lemon juice + Grape seed oil + Brown sugar

    @estudiobloom

    The grape seed oil works to hydrate your skin while the brown sugar is a great exfoliant. The lemon juice helps to brighten your skin. 

    Step 1 – Combine 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and ½ a tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl. Mix well. 

    Step 2 – Put the mask on to your freshly washed face and let it sit for 10 minutes.

    Step 3 – Gently wash it off with slightly warm water. 

    Now that you’ve read through a few example face mask recipes, why not try coming up with your own? To make your face mask even more unique, you can add in a couple drops of an essential oil into the mix. Lavender, frankincense, tea tree, and chamomile essential oils are especially beneficial in face masks. 

    Make sure to do your research! If you have an idea for a face mask that includes an ingredient not mentioned here, look up what its skin benefits are first before using it. 

    Once your face mask is complete, any leftovers can be saved in a jar or bottle for future use. If you used ingredients that spoil quickly, like avocado for example, you may need to store your face mask in the refrigerator. 

    So, have fun and get creative with your face masks. Making DIY facials at home is a great way to pass the time — it’s fun and your skin will thank you. 

    The post DIY Face Mask Ideas appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make DIY Potting Soil

    Having potting soil on hand is essential for any plant owner or gardener. It is nice to keep potting mix around the house because you never know when you’re going to need it. That’s why I like to make DIY potting soil. We use potting soil in and around our house to start seeds, grow... Read More The post How to Make DIY Potting Soil appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Having potting soil on hand is essential for any plant owner or gardener. It is nice to keep potting mix around the house because you never know when you’re going to need it. That’s why I like to make DIY potting soil. We use potting soil in and around our house to start seeds, grow countertop gardens, transplant houseplants, root cuttings, and more.

    I often need potting soil because one of my cats has knocked over a house plant and broken the pot! We will show you how to make DIY potting soil so you can save money and always have what you need on hand for your garden and house plants.

    Why Make Potting Soil? 

    Make DIY potting soil

    If you’re like most of us here at Makers Make Stuff, you probably have plants or like to grow some of your food. We like to do things ourselves because it’s fun and rewarding. But from time to time, making things yourself can be healthier, and even cheaper.

    Affordability is one of the biggest reasons we encourage you to make DIY potting soil. You can cut your gardening/plant budget significantly when you make your potting soil.

    Most Commercial Potting Soils Contain Strong Fertilizers: 

    Another significant benefit of making potting soil yourself is customizing (or cutting out) the fertilizer in your soil. Most commercial potting soils contain strong fertilizers. These products are marketed to the novice houseplant owner. These potting soils are too strong to start seedlings, transplant cuttings, and they can even kill some common houseplants!

    By avoiding commercial potting soils, you can avoid strong fertilizers that won’t help your plants and can even hurt them. Most plants require a customized feeding schedule anyway.

    So, to save some money and the health of your plants, let’s make potting soil!

    DIY Potting Soil Recipe:

    Potting Soil to Grow Seedlings

    Contrary to popular belief, potting soil doesn’t contain any soil from outside. While potting soil or potting mix does contain natural elements as a medium to grow plants, you can’t dig it up from outside. What you have in your backyard under your grass is “topsoil,” that’s full of weed seeds and other things that can help or hurt your plants. The soil outside your home is too dense to use for indoor/outdoor potted plants or as a seed starting mix.

    Before we get to the ingredients to make your potting soil, let’s talk about a few physical characteristics your potting soil needs to be the best growth medium for your plants.

    Potting soil needs to:

    • Drain well
    • Retain moisture
    • Stay fluffy and lightweight
    • Breakdown slowly
    • Be easy to handle (doesn’t clump or stick together in big hard chunks) 

    Some plants require more or less of these individual characteristics. For example, a cactus plant needs a really well-draining soil that doesn’t retain as much moisture. At the same time, a palm plant that likes to be moist might want some extra water retention capability in its soil.

    Once you have the basic ratio of these elements, you can tweak them a little, depending on what type of plants you grow.

    Ingredients for Potting Soil: 

    Coconut Core:

    Coconut Coir Soil starter

    Coconut core is the by-product of the processing of coconuts for coconut products. This product adds bulk and weight to your mix. The coconut fibers add nutrients to your potting mix and retains water well. Coconut core breaks down slowly and keeps your potting mix light. You’ll find coconut core soil in compressed bricks, and they increase in size when moistened and broken apart by hand. Coconut core is more sustainable and doesn’t break down as quickly as peat moss, which many commercial potting mixes use.

    Perlite:

    Perlite

     Perlite is the small white balls you find in commercial potting mixes. Made from volcanic rock, aerates your potting mix adding drainage and air space in your potting mix. Perlite also holds four times its weight in water adding water retention to your potting mix. 

    Vermiculite: 

    Vermiculite

    Vermiculite looks like large grains of sand. It’s a mined mineral that adds calcium and magnesium to your potting mix, which are essential nutrients for plants. Vermiculite increases drainage and moisture retention of your soil. 

    Sand (Optional of extra drainage):

    Garden Sand

    Sand increases the drainage of your soil. While you want your soil to hold some moisture for your roots, you don’t want your roots sitting in water (this can cause root rot). Sand can help water drain quickly through your soil, keeping your plants’ roots safe. 

    You’ll notice that I’m not giving you amounts yet.

    Depending on how much or how little potting soil you’ll need, I will provide you with a ratio rather than exact quantities. While I work in gallons or buckets to make potting soil for my plants (indoor and outdoor), you might be working in cups if you have fewer plants than I do.

    The ratio to Make DIY Potting Soil: 

    • 3 parts Coconut Core
    • 1 part vermiculite
    • 1 part perlite
    • 1/2 to 1 part sand (If you are working with succulents or cacti, increase the sand to two parts.)


    If you wanted to make a just over a gallon of potting mix, your recipe would look like this: 

    • 6 cups of coconut core
    • 2 cup of vermiculite
    • 2 cup of perlite
    • 1/2-1 cup of sand.

    A part can be anything you use to scoop or measure your ingredients. A shovel full, a cup, a bucket, anything really.

    Combine all of these and mix well with your hands. 

    Be sure to pre-moisten your potting mix before planting. You don’t want to start with a dry potting mix.

    For larger applications, you can mix your potting mix into a large garbage barrel or a wheelbarrow and use a strong shove to mix it.

    Where’s the Compost?  

    Compost

    Compost is full of beneficial bacteria and nutrients and is excellent for the health of your plants. We leave it out of our potting mix recipe because it can be too intense for young seedlings or small plants. If you are working in your garden or with mature potted plants, you can mix 1-2 parts of your homemade compost into your potting mix for some added nutrition and water retention in your soil.

    Ways to Use DIY Potting Mix: 

    • Layer some into your hole before planting your seedlings in your garden.
    • Use as your primary soil for outdoor container gardens or raised beds. 
    • Grow herbs or vegetables on your kitchen counter using DIY potting soil.
    • Use as your primary potting mix for house plants. Don’t forget to add extra sand for cacti and succulents.
    • Start seeds indoors for your summer garden. 
    • Use DIY potting mix to repot your indoor plants when your cat knocks them off the windowsill.

    No Fertilizer? 

    We prefer to leave the fertilizer out of our potting mixes because many plants require different nutrients. Most plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in different ratios. Flowering plants, for example, need more potassium to encourage flowering, while foliage type plants require more nitrogen. Some plants are heavy feeders and need to be fertilized more often during the growing season that other types of plants.

    It’s easier to hold off on adding fertilizer to your potting mix and instead create a customized fertilizing schedule for your plants based on their individual nutrient needs.

    The Bottom Line: 

    You can make a DIY potting mix to save yourself money and avoid strong fertilizers when it comes time to care for your indoor plants or start your garden.

    What kind of plants do you like to grow? 

    Check out some of our other gardening posts! 

    The post How to Make DIY Potting Soil appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Soy Sauce

    Soy sauce has a rich history in Asian cuisine. As a condiment, it is popular all over the world and can be used to add a dash of flavor to all sorts of snacks and meals. Soy sauce is also a key ingredient in many recipes and sauces, making it incredibly versatile and a must-have... Read More The post How to Make Soy Sauce appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Soy sauce has a rich history in Asian cuisine. As a condiment, it is popular all over the world and can be used to add a dash of flavor to all sorts of snacks and meals. Soy sauce is also a key ingredient in many recipes and sauces, making it incredibly versatile and a must-have for home cooks. 

    It’s easy to buy soy sauce at the supermarket, or to even order it online. Yet, some people still choose to make it themselves. Making it at home is not for the faint-hearted. It takes patience (almost a year’s worth). So, you may be wondering why making soy sauce yourself is something you should do.

    Why Make it at Home?

    There are a few reasons for making your own soy sauce from scratch. Firstly, it’s cheaper to make it at home if you find yourself consuming a lot of it. If it is a common ingredient in your daily meals, you may be spending quite a lot of money on soy sauce — more than you want to be spending. So, you can either stop using so much, or learn to make it yourself. 

    Secondly, homemade soy sauce is much less salty than the store-bought options. Fueled by consumer demands, companies started putting more and more sodium into their batches, making modern soy sauce almost dangerously salty.

    Thirdly, making soy sauce at home can be a fun project for you if you’re interested in fermentation and/or east Asian culture. The sauce dates back to the year 160 when it was first made in China. Today, the homemade soy sauce making process is quite similar to the way it was originally made.

    Whatever reason you have for making your own soy sauce, you’ll be incredibly satisfied once you get to serve up a meal to family and friends using your very own, homemade soy sauce. 

    Homemade Soy Sauce Recipe

    Follow these steps to make shoyu. Shoyu is made with both soybeans and wheat, meanwhile tamari is made without wheat. You’ll only need a few ingredients, and the process is quite easy. Just make sure to follow the instructions carefully, or else your soy sauce may come out badly. 

    You Will Need… 

    Step 1 – Wash and soak. Wash the soybeans, then put them into a large container and fill it with double the amount of water. Let the soybeans grow in size and soak overnight. Pour in more water as needed so that the expanding soybeans always stay completely covered.

    Step 2 – Cook the beans. Strain the soybeans from the water and let them drip for a few minutes. Then, put them into a pot on the stove with enough water to cover them. Cook on medium heat with the pot lid left slightly open to let the steam escape. At this point, the soybean water can form a scummy layer on top. You can scoop this up and discard it.

    When the soybeans are easily mash-able, take them off the heat and let them cool.

    Step 3 – Cook and grind the wheat. Put the wheat berries into a skillet on the stove and cook them until golden brown. Then, with a food processor, grind the wheat berries into a coarse powder.

    Step 4 – Combine ingredients. Put the soybeans into a large tray or baking sheet. Then, pour the ground wheat berries on top and mix thoroughly. Slightly flatten out the beans and wheat mixture and pour on the koji starter. Cover the tray or trays with a cloth or plastic wrap and place them in a warm area.

    It’s important that the koji remains within the 80°F-95°F range. If you feel the tray getting too hot, just mix the beans and koji to cool it down. If it is not hot enough, keep it by a heater or in the sun for 3 days or until white mold has grown across all or most of the beans. You may see discolored mold. If you do, just discard those areas.

    Step 5 – Prepare your brine. Take 8 cups of warm filtered water and 4 cups of salt. Pour both into a large glass jar and let the salt dissolve. Once the salt has dissolved, add in the beans and koji mixture and tightly close the jar. You may need to use multiple jars. Then, label the jars with the date so you don’t lose track of time. Put the jars into a warm place.

    Step 6 – Sit and stir. This is the step that takes the most patience. Your moromi (brine and koji mixture) needs to sit for at least 6 months. For the first week, stir the moromi once a day. After that, stir at least once a week.

    Step 7 – Strain. Once your moromi has turned a dark brown color (6 or 6+ months), it is time to strain it. Using a cloth and/or a strainer, strain the liquid into a bottle. If your shoyu comes out with an odd, unexpected color, don’t worry. This soy sauce is now ready to use. However, if you want to correct the color and make it darker, move on to step 8.

    Step 8 – Color correcting. To make your shoyu darker, simply put the bottle of soy sauce out into the hot sun. After a few months, you’ll have a perfectly dark bottle of shoyu to enjoy.

    What to Do With Homemade Soy Sauce

    Now that you have your own bottle of shoyu, you can explore the long list of recipes that soy sauce can be used in. Marinades, sauces, glazes, stir-fries, soups, and salads all benefit from the richness of soy sauce. 

    If you want to know more about soy sauce, check out our Ultimate Condiments Guide article.

    The post How to Make Soy Sauce appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


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