Posts in Category: Handmade Holiday Gifts

DIY: Homemade Whipped Shea and Cocoa Body Butter


Body butter is one of those luxurious body care products that I covet. For a long-time I used store bought and recently discovered that with so few ingredients and with my trusty boy-friend on the case (vitamix for life) … that I could make my own at a fraction of the cost!

Shea and cocoa are my two favourite types of base carriers for any moisturizing cream or body butter, and since making it on my own I decided to merge the two together. I think the best part about making my own apothecary products is how completely customizable they are. You could use mango butter or other oils in this or just one base butter. It’s all up to you!

I used to alternate between using coconut oil and the body butters I purchased to moisturize as I found that while the coconut oil absorbed really quickly, I still felt a bit dry after a while. I thought I could just get away with using the raw cocoa or shea butter a few times a week or as needed, but it’s quite heavy on it’s own and takes a long-time to absorb. The remedy has been to experiment and combine my favourite ingredients until I found something that mimiced my store purchases in texture, feel, absorbency and moisturizing staying power. 


One of my most favourite things to make! For a quite a while I made and sold dreamcatcher baby mobiles and over the years I’ve become slightly obsessed. Dreamcatchers of all shapes and sizes, using various natural, repurposed and purchased materials. This tutorial specifically shows dreamcatchers as holiday ornaments and gifts for friends. However, the process is universal for a number of different dreamcatcher styles, whatever the theme or occasion.

For larger hoops, I use young red willow branches (easy to bend), or older, drier branches soaked in a tub of hot water to become pliable. For the smaller ornamental style dreamcatchers, I use brass hoops that you can purchase at any craft store. I’ve even seen them in some dollar stores.

One of my favourite presents to give friends and family are handmade ornaments that I made myself, peeps who are really into holiday trim and decorating just love that action! This year I started making a bunch of different smaller styles to gift as unique sets and medium dreamcatchers for rearview mirrors on the dash of cars or with bells on the tassels to hand on doors! I’m also making a couple of larger ones for certain individuals on my list to hang in their homes or over their beds.

I started making them back in November and one I got into a groove they’re easy to make in the evenings while watching Netflix and winding down after a long day. I like to have a lightweight food serving tray, or tea tray (I have a few cheap ones from Ikea for couch crafting), to keep all of my materials organized. I even made a (cheesy?) DIY video of the weaving process. You know you want to see that, right? If in the very least to make fun of me, no? Be kind, it’s my first DIY vid. Dreamcatchers have and always be a well received gift, I hope you enjoy making and giving them as much as I do…


You can do this with any jam recipe, but you really should do it with this one because it’s kind of one of the best experiments in my kitchen that didn’t blow up in my face this year. Heck, maybe longer, given how truly adventurous I was with it.

I mean, strawberry jam with no white sugar, sweetened with minimal honey and NO PECTIN?! Unheard of right? Yet totally doable, totally delicious and packed with a hidden superfood that makes it all happen. (Chia seeds, my friends. Oh yes.)

So if you’re willing to take my word for it and you’re into the frugality of making your own Holiday presents for friends and family, especially the edible ones (everyone likes some prettily packaged homemade canned goods. Or at least your friends and family probably do if you’re the type of person who’s into that sort of thing.) Make this jam and then follow these simple instructions on how to package it all up with cheer and just the right amount of glitz, glimmer and understated charm that one would hope for in a jar of crimson red Holiday jam…


Let it be said that while I may like to tackle more than my fair share of DIY projects – they don’t always turn out the way that Pinterest picture looked and they’re not always done on time. (Like those hutches in my garage that I’ve been refinishing for a month).

Which is exactly what happened with this year’s advent calendar…

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