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Affordable Area Rugs to Fit Any Decor

If you know me, then you know I am all about making our house a home affordably. It makes no sense to me to spend big bucks on something when you can get the exact same thing for less elsewhere or make it yourself. Problem is, knowing where to find those deals. That hunt can take time and time is money. Thankfully, I was able to enhance my family room by adding a rug, and I want to share with you the affordable area rugs I found. PLUS, I have a giveaway! eep!

Enter in our family room… this used to be a detached garage. Bet you’ve never seen a garage look so good! If you follow along, you know that last week I shared with you how on a whim I decided to give my fireplace a makeover. The view I’m about to show you is to the left of that same fireplace.

Rustic Farmhouse Family Room Makeover Before | Prodigal Pieces |

In the future, I will show you the true before as a few years ago I did three coats of paint and stain-blocking primer to this room, tore down a drop ceiling, and made my pallet shutters and barnwood & bedskirt valance. (both have tutorials) I even got the entertainment center for free from a guy who was originally going to charge me $100, but told us we could have it if we would take his projection TV’s. Deal! Serious praise is that most everything in this room was received for Read more

Natural Cat Toys You Can DIY

More and more in today’s society it has become a necessity to be ever-conscious of what we allow in our environment and how we are taking care of our bodies with nourishing foods. Nobody should have to bear a toxic load, and that includes our pets. Today, I have a fun DIY tutorial for you today that will give your furry feline family members a treat that will not only entertain, but will be free of poisonous rubbers and harmful chemicals. Interested? Let’s get our craft on and make some natural cat toys!

Calico Cat Playing with DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces |

Aside from being healthy, the best part about these natural cat toys is that it makes perfect gifts. It only takes about 20-30 minutes of your time, and once you get the hang of it, they’re easy to whip one up.

Supplies to Make DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces | Read more

Natural Ant Control with Grits

I just have to share this tip for natural ant control with you today. You see, in my home, we try to make the absolute best effort to keep everything natural. What I mean by that is no chemicals, no artificial anything, but by using elbow grease and all the wonderful things nature provides. It’s that time of year again for us where the warm weather brings sunshine, flowers, green grass, and ANTS.

Close Up of Ant in Home | Prodigal Pieces |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too!

Gotta love those supremely strong, determined little critters. When we moved into our house over 12 years ago, one of the first things we noticed were ant traps left in corners here and there. I had a one-year-old in tow, plus a baby on the way, and didn’t want those things strewn about. Our first spring we got hammered with all sorts of ants large and small. I tried a few different things, but eventually gave in and had the house sprayed by a professional pest control company. bleck.

Never again. That would be the last time I would do that. Watching my house get coated with a nasty chemical was all I could stand, so by the next spring I was going to find a way to stop them buggers naturally. Read more

Handmade Holidays Gift Ideas & Resources #2 – Natural Bath & Body

So have you started making your gifts yet?  I’m all stashed and have started to complete my projects, but sometimes it can seem so daunting, especially when you have 6 pairs of eyes that could easily spy on what you’re doing.

Actually, my gang doesn’t want to see what I’m doing because they don’t want to ruin their fun.  It’s so nice, but I still have to wake at the wee early hours of the morning to accomplish my gifts so as not to ruin it for them.

Last week, I focues on handmade dolls from the book, Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love.

Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Dolls by Prodigal Pieces
It’s all about natural bath & body gifts this week.  Oh yeah, all homemade and full of goodness.
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
Homemade bath & body gifts are so fabulous because you can create it to suit the gift receiver, scent and all. There are dozens of recipes that can be used, but I am going to share the ones that we have found to work for us.
My oldest daughter decided to make a gift basket of bath/body products for her friends birthday and if my 9-year old can do it, so can you!
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
First, we made deodorant using basic household products and essential oils. I am a lady that can sweat like a man, and this deodorant works so well that is lasts for days…days! I will never use another as long as I can make my own. The best part is there are no yucky chemicals or aluminum to boot!
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
 Deodorant Recipe
  • a small tin or recycled container to store it in (about 3 oz. size)
  • 1/4 c. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. arrowroot (you can use cornstarch, but it does not work as well)
  • 4 T. coconut oil (best source is Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label)
  • 15 – 20 drops of your choice of essential oils (mix it up, make it fun!)

*for ladies we like: geranium, rose, lavender, rose, lemon, orange, ylang ylang

*for gents: patchouli, sandalwood, peppermint, orange, lemon

Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
 Just add your ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
*note: sometimes in cooler temps the oil will be more solid, so you may need to warm it slightly over a double boiler or pot of hot water.  A microwave would probably work, but we don’t own one of those things…how about a hair dryer?
Pour the mixture into your container and let cool on the counter or stick it in the refrigerator to set quicker for a couple minutes.  Once room temperature, check to see if the texture is to your liking.  I like mine to be soft enough to spread easily, but not so runny that it would come out of the container if tipped.
If it’s too solid, just dump it back out and add more oil and repeat the checking process.  If it’s too runny, just add a bit more arrowroot.  Take notes of how you tweak it so you’ll know for next time.
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
 You can add a handmade label – my daughter using mailing labels and stamps to print her own.  You can also just take a good ‘ol sharpie to mark your container directly, or make a tag.
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
 My daughter also made a body spray and lip balm using these recipes:
Body Spray
  • 8-9 oz. spray bottle
  • 8 oz. distilled water
  • 1 T. witch hazel (I purchase through Vitacost – tons of items right to your door! )
  • 20-30 drops essential oils (see above suggestions for scents)

Mix up and pour into bottle.  Shake before use after a shower or bath.

Chocolate Mint Lip Balm

  • 6 – .5 oz. tins or small container
  • 1/3 t. cocoa powder
  • 4 T. coconut oil
  • 3 drops vitamin E drops (or use a pill)
  • 3/4 T. honey
  • 15 drops peppermint oil – food grade
  • 1.5 T. beeswax

Place all ingredients in a double boiler (I use a thrifted pot for my bath & body products) and warm until all is melted.  Place a small amount in a container and put in your refrigerator to see if you like the desired consistency.  Fill containers and you’re done!

She also made a beeswax candle using an thrifted punch cup, local beeswax and candle wicking.  Just melt the beeswax in a crock pot (I found an extra one at a garage sale for $2), set your wicking and pour.  You can even add scents, like cinnamon, orange, clove…you get the idea.  No paraffins for us!

Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces You can also make a gift for new parents with a homemade vapor rub or a healing salve (a favorite!)
For the vapor rub, just take some coconut oil and add some drops of eucalyptus, white camphor, and peppermint essential oils.  I add a bit of beeswax to thicken it a bit, but it isn’t always needed.
Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
 Here is how to make the healing salve for diaper rash, cuts, scrapes, and irritated skin (can be used on big people too!)
Natural Baby Salve
  • 1 part comfrey root
  • 1 part St. Johns Wort flower
  • 1 part Calendula flower
  • 1 pt. almond oil/olive oil
  • 1 small jam jar

Steep 2 oz. mixture in 1 pint of oil for two weeks (set in a sunny windowsill). After two weeks, place mixture in a double boiler and over VERY low heat, warm for 1 hour.  Strain.  To each cup of herbal oil, add 1/4 c. grated beeswax or beeswax pellets.  Check consistency by placing a tablespoon portion in the refrigerator – add more wax or oil as necessary.  Pour into container – small jam jars work perfect.

Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces
 How about a solid scent for ladies and gents of all ages?  (my guys love this!)

Solid Scent (for 1 oz. container)

  • 1 oz. sweet almond oil
  • 1 t. melted beeswax
  • 20 drops of main essential oil (ex. ylang ylang) – 10 drops of complimentary (ex. orange) 5 drops of additional complimentary (ex. rose)

Mix together and pour into tin or small container.  You can increase the amount by doubling, etc. to fit a larger container, but the 1 oz. size is perfect.

You can also check out my Pinterest board for tons of recipes and ideas.

Hope you have fun mixing up goodies for your loved ones and friends and I’d love to hear what you whip up!

Handmade Holidays: Gift Ideas & Resources - Natural Bath & Body by Prodigal Pieces

More Handmade Holidays for you!
Get your Christmas DIY on with these fun wooden gift ideas from the Handmade Holidays gift ideas by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesCreate your own Handmade Holidays with these easy and natural Bath & Body gift ideas by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesGet your Christmas gifts done DIY style with these Handmade Holidays gift ideas using felt by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

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