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Inspired To Sell Your DIY Goodies?

Inspired To Sell Your DIY Goodies?

I love that people feel inspired to get busy with natural DIY, and then want to share their creations with the world! The best way to get people on board is to give them a product to try – once they can see that it works just as well as its commercial counterpart, how can they resist?

I’m often asked for advice on starting up a business in this field and selling at markets. There is so much to consider when taking this step. It’s not as simple as making stuff, labelling it, whacking a price on it and selling it. There is a lot of research that YOU, personally, need to do – please don’t take the easy way out and ask someone else to provide you with all of the answers. Firstly, no-one has all of the answers specific to your situation. Secondly, to get a full understanding of the way it works, it’s best to do the research yourself. Google is a wonderful resource!

The information below is designed to get you thinking, and have you travel down the right path – it is not a comprehensive list, and it’s important to note that rules and regulations are always changing so what may have been current when I wrote this blog could be very different by the time you’re reading it. 

Here’s what I can tell you though…

Business Basics Set yourself up as a registered business and get yourself an ABN. Check out this link (Aussies only). Assuming you’re starting out from your home kitchen/office/shed, check your local council regulations on running businesses, and selling products, from your place of residence. You may also be entitled to some insurance/tax kickbacks from working from home.

Product Insurance & Public Liability – market organisers usually have some sort of liability insurance (be sure to check first), but this is usually broad and covers them/you against accidents during the market. Product insurance, however, protects you against claims that your product has caused harm to someone – think rashes, accidental ingestion, anaphylaxis etc. It can be quite expensive, so you would need to weigh up its worth. I personally used to pay well over $1k annually, and this was a huge leap for me to take initially. But because I had spent hours and HOURS researching, understood the entire process regarding the sale of ‘cosmetics’ in Australia, and had faith that I was onto a good thing, I went ahead. Keywords for Google to help you out would be: “product + insurance + cosmetics”

Labelling – Needs to be done properly, no short cuts or guessing what needs to be included. Each country has different labelling laws, so do some research. Business information, a comprehensive ingredients list (ordered from greatest concentration to least) and product weight are just a few details to be included. This link may be useful if you live in Australia.

Shelf life/product stability – how well do you know your product? Have you performed thorough testing? Making a single batch, dividing it by four or five, letting one sit for six months in a cool place, one in a warm sunny spot, one in the fridge, one open, etc., is a useful way to work out approximate shelf life. Also important to consider is the production environment, possible risks of bacterial contamination, and the durability and seal of packaging. Shipping times and conditions also need some consideration if you intend to sell online. You will need to gain a good understanding of where your products are going and how they will be delivered. Is the destination warm? Will they be in hot postal vans? Give this some serious thought.

Governing bodies – become familiar with the governing bodies, the areas of personal business registration, consumer rights, chemical regulations etc., and please, do your own diligent research – don’t rely on forums or broad feedback from others. In Australia, the following organisations are useful places to explore: ACCC, NICNAS, Product Safety Australia. **Warning – it’s a tangled web, and they all lead you to each other, but it’s worth chasing your tail in order to fully understand it. It’s also worth phoning them for a chat if you’re seriously considering selling products.

Credit – If you’re going to use someone else’s recipes, credit them – in my opinion it’s respectful, not negotiable, and makes you a good human 😉  Remember, I haven’t written these recipes with mass-production in mind. They are designed to be made in small batches, and to be used within a reasonable timeframe. Keep this at the forefront of your mind at all times if you’re using my recipes.

I think that just about covers the basics. If I think of anything else I will add to this post.  I hope this helps those of you who are wondering how to go about selling products.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

With a background in health promotion, Krissy's passion is to educate and increase awareness on reducing the number of toxins that people expose themselves to on a daily basis, through an honest, simple and realistic approach.

She has sold over 20,000 self-published books and is now published as the author of Naturally Inspired, Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning.

Her recipes have taken her to the screen on more than one occasion, with morning TV appearances, and she received recognition as a ‘Woman Who Will Change The World’ in the AusMumpreneur business awards in 2018.

12 Simple and Natural DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

12 Simple and Natural DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

12 Simple & Natural DIY Christmas Gift Ideas for Him and Her

For me, Christmas is about family and friends and precious togetherness under sunshine, with good music, maybe a beverage or two, and laughter, lots of it. Gratitude features prominently in my life, but even more so at Christmas; I choose to reflect on the year that’s drawing to a close, and appreciate every minute of it. The ups we’ve experienced, the downs we’ve learned from, the experiences and opportunities that have been, and the plans that lay ahead of us. It’s a soulful, ‘bucket-filling’ time for me.

The more time I spend travelling on the beautiful path of natural DIY, eco-respect and toxin-awareness, the less and less I understand how we, as a society, have become so focused on things, prioritising objects over time, love and experiences. I don’t buy into the whole extravagance of stuff anymore. I used to feel the pressure of buying everyone the most perfect gift – something unique, something they didn’t know existed that would make them squeal! I’ve come to learn that it is an incredibly stressful, time-consuming, expensive, (and often) planet-trashing task to master. I have struck a deal with most of my loved ones – we’ll spend time together, go out for a meal, meet at a park for a picnic, take the families on a trip somewhere, gift each other vouchers for massages or a session at Gold Class, rather than buy stuff. As for my kids, 8 and 10, they’re currently writing Santa lists with 4 requests: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read (I didn’t make it up, but can’t remember where I heard this, sorry). Then, we’ll go and do something special together on Christmas Day, eat awesome food, have an arvo nap – all the good things!

Now, I won’t lie, I do still give the odd tangible gift, and if it isn’t a homemade DIY goodie like natural perfume with essential oils, a facial oil or body cream, it is a reusable coffee cup, shampoo bar, or bag of soapberries. That’s how I roll, and it is always so well received (and I don’t think they’re faking their excitement!).

If you’re looking to give your special people homemade, handmade gifts, gifts that encourage conscious consumerism, gifts that are non-toxic, beautiful and thoughtful, then you’ll be excited by the little eBook I’ve put together!

Click the link below, pop in your email address and I’ll send you my 12 Simple & Natural DIY Christmas Gift Ideas eBook – it’s free!

Useful Tips Before DIY-ing

  • Be mindful that some recipes are safe to make well in advance and others aren’t. Recipes that are oil-based typically last months and months so it’s a pretty safe bet to make recipes like my Whipped Body Cream, Two Ingredient Base Balm (from Naturally Inspired) or Baby Booty Balm well before the gifting date. Water-based products don’t last very long, and you might like to avoid gifting them altogether to stay on the safe side. I don’t use any preservatives as such in my recipes, so water-based recipes are designed to be used up quite quickly (even though I have mine for 4-6 weeks at a time – that’s my own personal and educated decision).
  • Consider the recipients of your gifts. Be mindful that some of my recipes may not be suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, infants, children, the elderly and those with compromised immunity or medical conditions.
  • Be mindful that some essential oils, and the quantities suggested, may not be suitable for everyone. Exercise caution and do your own independent research. Also, make sure you list every ingredient used for the recipient’s benefit – this is especially important when it comes to allergies.

Click the link below, pop in your email address and I’ll send you my 12 Simple & Natural DIY Christmas Gift Ideas eBook – it’s free!

For those of you that find yourself without the time or tools to get DIY-ing, you might like to check out the following people for awesome, natural, eco-friendly gifts.

Biome Eco Stores – I love everything about Tracey and her store. They have a great selection of gifts for Christmas.

Flora & Fauna – have some awesome ethical and human friendly gifts.

Waters Co. – if you fancy a gift that is very practical. I don’t go anywhere without my mini, portable water filter!

Nourished Life – there are some great gift ideas here. I love the Ethique shampoo bars and Cheeki insulated travel cups.

Happy Christmas and happy making!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

With a background in health promotion, Krissy's passion is to educate and increase awareness on reducing the number of toxins that people expose themselves to on a daily basis, through an honest, simple and realistic approach.

She has sold over 20,000 self-published books and is now published as the author of Naturally Inspired, Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning.

Her recipes have taken her to the screen on more than one occasion, with morning TV appearances, and she received recognition as a ‘Woman Who Will Change The World’ in the AusMumpreneur business awards in 2018.

Creating a Natural & Sustainable Christmas

Creating a Natural & Sustainable Christmas

You may be visiting this blog post because you saw my most recent DIY segment on Studio 10 – if so, I am so glad you followed me up (I’ll assume I inspired you, and that’s a huge win for me)! I’ll cover the three recipes I demonstrated on the program, plus give you a few bonus tips to help you reduce your impact on our planet this silly season.

Ah Christmas… It’s a time that sees us (Australians) spending over $10 billion each year, with much of that money allocated to festive items (decorations, wrapping paper, bon bons, live trees etc.) and things we don’t really need. So much of this ends up in landfill, with no option to re-use or re-purpose, and with many people not recycling properly, Christmas is looking more like an environmental disaster! So it’s time. No more excuses. I’m about to give you plenty of reasons, along with doable alternatives, to help you reduce your waste, environmental impact and budget this Christmas.

I’ve always been crafty, my childhood was basically one big craft session, so this comes easy to me! I understand that while everyone else might not have the ‘crafty gene’, I will assume that if you’re reading this blog post, you’re willing to try. Plus, no need to stress because simple recipes and achievable suggestions are always my main aim. Just you wait and see!

Concerning Issues and Sustainable Alternatives

Issue 1: Australians buy enough Christmas wrapping paper each year to circle the earth 3-4x

This is based on the average Aussie household buying 20m of wrapping paper – that’s 4x standard rolls. This is mental!

Alternative 1: While these are best suited to smaller parcels, DIY Beeswax Gift Wrap is the perfect alternative to single-use wrapping paper! The terrific part about this is that the wrap can then be used to cover leftover food. Read more here, and watch me do a little DIY demo.

Alternative 2: Wrapping paper is used to build suspense and amplify surprise, right? Can that be achieved with newspaper (one you’ve read, and are now able to repurpose instead of recycling immediately)? You can pretty it up with ribbon or twine, maybe even get the kids to draw pictures on it. Or use the comic section maybe? I’ve done it and it generated discussion but didn’t change those all-important elements of suspense and surprise!

Alternative 3: Consider using a gift bag or box. The fact these don’t need to be ripped open and can be reused multiple times makes it a better option than standard wrapping paper.

Still not convinced?

At the very least, if you’re still going to buy wrapping paper, consider ditching the foil/plastic stuff and the wrap covered in glitter (aka micro-plastics), please.

Issue 2: Bon Bons aka Christmas Crackers – 20 seconds of fun versus a lifetime of waste

If the average Australian Household buys just one packet of eight Christmas bon bons (aka crackers), that’s 80 million of them that will be ‘cracked’ and discarded this year. More often than not, these bon bons contain fairly useless plastic toys, bits and pieces, like tiny combs and tiny dice, plus they usually come packaged in cardboard boxes with plastic windows. I get it, they’re fun, but this is a lot of waste.

Alternative 1: Make your own!! You can watch the replay of my Studio 10 segment to see how I do it. It’s surprisingly very easy to do!

Here’s how to do it…

1. Grab an empty toilet roll, a sheet of tissue paper (bigger than your toilet roll), a bon bon snap (most craft stores stock them for $2 a packet), a little useful gift (I love things like metal straws, DIY perfume roller bottles, beautiful organic tea bags, vouchers for family movie nights etc.), a joke, string to tie and a strip of fabric to decorate it at the end.

2. Place the gift, joke and snap inside the toilet roll and place in the centre of the tissue paper.

3. Roll and cover in tissue paper; twist and secure ends with string.

4. Position fabric around the centre of the completed bon bon and glue/tape ends together.

See, simple!

Alternative 2: Maybe pop a joke and a little homemade gift like these DIY Lip Balms at every place at the dinner table instead of bon bons.

Alternative 3: Grab last year’s Christmas cards and create simple envelope pockets by taping the narrow edges together and pop something like a scratchie inside. Another cool idea is to pop a treasure hunt note in an envelope and send the kids from room to room, with cryptic clues – such fun!

Still not convinced?

I haven’t seen many eco-friendly retail options so perhaps consider starting a family trend and bucking the tradition of bon bons altogether!

Issue 3: Cheap plastic ornaments, and a seasonal attitude of ‘out with the old’ 

Want to know the most sustainable and eco-friendly ornament you can get your hands on? It’s the ones you already have! With millions of people buying new decorations every year, plenty of ‘old’ decorations and ornaments are either being binned, or donated to charity (issue here is that the quality is not always acceptable).

Alternative 1: If you’re serious about reducing your environmental impact this Christmas, but you still want to add a few new decorations to your tree, then try my Clay Ornaments.

Here’s how to do it…

1. Preheat oven to 100˚C with fan off.

2. Combine 65g fine salt, 65g plain flour, 50g water and 1/4 tsp of a colourant (optional) in a bowl and mix to form a dough.

3. Dust bench with a little extra flour, remove dough from bowl, and knead until pliable. Add more flour if the dough feels sticky.

4. Roll out to 0.5 cm thickness and use cookie cutters to create shapes.

5. Use a straw (metal and reusable, preferably!) to punch a hole at the top of the shape. The ornament can then be hung when dry.

6. Lay ornaments on an oven tray and place in oven for 45 minutes. Flip ornaments and bake for another 30 minutes, or until firm and dry to touch.

7. Allow to cool, and thread string or a ribbon through the hole.

Look at how gorgeous they are!

Alternative 2: Cover your tree in dehydrated citrus! This is the most gorgeous idea. Just slice citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit into thin rounds, pat them dry with a kitchen towel, place them in a low and slow oven (it takes me 4-5 hours at 80 degrees Celsius) and flip frequently. Keep going until they have no moisture left – just make sure they don’t burn. Once they’re dry, thread them and hang them. Easy and truly stunning. *As soon as I finish my tree I’ll take a photo!

Still not convinced?

As I mentioned, the best ornaments you can get are the ones you already have. But if you must get new ones, opt for glitter-free wooden, paper or metal – let’s not give them any more reason to manufacture plastic.

A Few More Things to Consider

Gifts with purpose – you know what I’m going to say here? DIY!! I have so many recipes for you right here. I can almost guarantee that anyone would love a gift like Whipped Body Cream, Facial Oil or Beard Balm. I have 125+ recipes, tips and guides to inspire you in Naturally Inspired too! You might also like to download my 12 Simple & Natural DIY Christmas Gift Ideas eBook – it’s free!

Choosing a tree – just like decorations, the best tree you can get is the one you already have. We have had a plastic tree for 10 years. It looks like new. Why replace it? I could sell it or gift it to someone that can’t afford one for themselves, but I’d only do that if we ditched a tree altogether and perhaps built something from sticks (which may actually happen!). If you’re looking for a real tree, consider one that is live (comes in a pot with roots) so that it can be replanted.

Cards – everyone texts these days don’t they?? If you are buying and sending Christmas cards, consider locally-made cards (or make some yourself).

Food – try to cook and prepare as much as you can from scratch this Christmas and avoid pre-packaged food. Our food consumption increases drastically over Christmas, as does the plastic wrapping and packaging.

Secret Santa/KK – why not give a charitable donation in someone else’s name this Christmas? What an awesome feeling to know you’re helping someone in need.

Entertaining – consider ditching the idea of plastic disposable cutlery and plates, tablecloths and serving ware. Spend that little extra time in the kitchen to wash up, rather than ‘fling and forget’.

Christmas Advent Calendars – rather than buy a new calendar for the kids each year, often filled with plastic items or chocolate/sweets, consider buying a fabric one (my children’s grandma made one for them that we have been using for many years now), or a wooden box-style calendar. These both allow you to fill the days with items of choice – we often write notes that can be traded in for dinner of choice, a trip to the beach, extra screen time (much coveted as it’s quite restricted in our household!).

Consider making just one switch this Christmas. I bet you’ll feel like an empowered eco-warrior and that’s the best feeling ever!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

With a background in health promotion, Krissy's passion is to educate and increase awareness on reducing the number of toxins that people expose themselves to on a daily basis, through an honest, simple and realistic approach.

She has sold over 20,000 self-published books and is now published as the author of Naturally Inspired, Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning.

Her recipes have taken her to the screen on more than one occasion, with morning TV appearances, and she received recognition as a ‘Woman Who Will Change The World’ in the AusMumpreneur business awards in 2018.

Cleaning Your Shower & Toilet Without The Nasties

Cleaning Your Shower & Toilet Without The Nasties

It seems that you guys love to see photos of my icky toilet and shower because whenever I share before and after images on Facebook or Instagram, interaction is off the charts!

Here are photos of my shower screens before and after I used the following (very simple) method to clean them. (Note that I hadn’t actually cleaned my glass for a good 8-12 weeks – nope, not joking! ?)

Not bad, right? All it took was a few ingredients, 20-30 minutes of my time and the willingness to participate in a very light workout. I am the first one to encourage muscle-power over harsh chemicals, and some of my recipes require this, but not this one, no sir. I hardly broke a sweat, scout’s honour.

And how is this, from Kelly in the Facebook Discussion GroupMore proof that we don’t need to use heavy duty, store-bought cleaning products to achieve results like this!

 

Makes: 270 g | 9.5 oz Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients

3/4 cup | 200 g | 7.1 oz citric acid

1/4 cup | 70 g | 2.5 oz sodium bicarbonate

30 drops of essential oils

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oil in this recipe is clove but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

 

Method

1. Add citric acid, sodium bicarbonate and essential oils to a bowl and mix until combined.

2. Transfer into container of choice.

 

To Use

In shower

Add mixture to a large bowl and slowly add enough water to make a paste. Use a microfibre cleaning cloth to smear over shower screens and tiles until covered. Leave for 20-30 minutes. Scrub well (with the same cleaning cloth or a scrubbing brush), then rinse well and dry.

In toilet bowl

Sprinkle mixture into toilet bowl and use toilet brush to scrub around sides and under rim. Leave for 20-30 minutes. Scrub again before flushing once or twice. Repeat process if necessary.

 


Recipe Notes

  • To avoid a sticky residue, make sure you rinse off all of the mixture completely.
  • If you have black tiles, test first in an inconspicuous area.
  • I strongly suggest you check out the blog posts under “Recommended Reading”.
Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

With a background in health promotion, Krissy's passion is to educate and increase awareness on reducing the number of toxins that people expose themselves to on a daily basis, through an honest, simple and realistic approach.

She has sold over 20,000 self-published books and is now published as the author of Naturally Inspired, Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning.

Her recipes have taken her to the screen on more than one occasion, with morning TV appearances, and she received recognition as a ‘Woman Who Will Change The World’ in the AusMumpreneur business awards in 2018.

A Beginners Guide to Natural DIY

A Beginners Guide to Natural DIY

Recently, I’ve spent time travelling to different cities and states across Australia, meeting lots of new people. Some are well-established in their journey towards a life less toxic, and others that have given it some thought, taken a few little steps (like booking a ticket to one of my events!) but haven’t felt quite ready to take the leap yet. I do provide so much inspiration and information on my website, and via my socials, but I thought it might be useful to reference everything within one blog post. Once you’ve finished reading it, and you’ve become a DIY advocate yourself, perhaps you can share this with people you know that are starting out. Deal?

I absolutely love hearing from people who have had that magical, coveted ‘a-ha’ moment; a moment that has inspired them, transformed their mindset, motivated them to tackle all those things they’ve thought about, but never felt ready to tackle. That is technically the first step in the process. The steps that follow come easier to some than others.

I really wish I could connect personally with everyone who felt a little lost as to where to begin – I just know that a few minutes with me, one-on-one, and they’d be skipping away with inspired confidence. But, at this stage, that’s just not possible!

I’ve been on this journey for a number of years now and I have learned a lot! If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed a few things. The benefit of guiding you on your journey, is that you can get some useful tips and advice early on, helping you to transition calmly into the DIY space, with little fuss. I can help you avoid the issues I faced. Of course, I would also encourage you to go rogue and try your own thing, even if it means the occasional teeny tiny ‘fails’ – that’s how we learn after all!

So, if the idea of making your own body care and cleaning products is brand new to you, listen up! The following information will help you.

STEP 1: Get educated

Become aware, get educated, add some more fuel to your fire. We want a roaring fire, not a few glowing embers!

Let me get you started. Fertility rates are declining, breast and testicular cancer is rising, micro-beads are being found in fish in Sydney Harbour, antibiotic resistance is strengthening, certain ingredients in mainstream skin care has been proven to mimic hormones, and that’s messing with our bodies. These are just snowflakes on the tip of the iceberg, but they are reason enough to cause concern.

If you want more info, I share plenty of facts like this in my short online course: Becoming a Label Detective. Check it out here.

STEP 2: Create a watch-list

I’ve got a list of the chemicals I believe should be on everyone’s watch-list here. This list is quite long, even though I could easily add dozens more, and it may seem intimidating at first. You might like to read through, see which ones really strike a chord with you, and add them to your own list. As a bare minimum, I would encourage you to watch out for:

Fragrance, Parabens, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate and ingredients that contain ‘eth’ in their names (such as Butoxyethanol, Ceteareth, Ethyl Acetate etc.).

My number one, avoid it at all costs, ingredient is fragrance. I share, what I believe to be important info on, why fragrance is super nasty stuff here. Read it and see how you feel.

STEP 3: Look at what’s in your cupboard and get familiar with product packaging/labels

Open your cupboards and take out the products you currently use. Flip them over and look at the information panels. Do you see fragrance listed? Do you recognise many ingredients? Can you see any ingredients on those lists that we’ve spoken about above? If so, how do you feel about them? Think about whether you use them, whether you need them? This process will help you determine what items you may want to replace. (Remember, long names do not necessarily mean they’re ‘bad’. For example, shea butter is also known as Butyrospermum Parkii, and jojoba oil is technically called Simmondsia Chinensis.)

If you need more help reading labels, I’ll make mention (again) that I have developed a very doable, user-friendly and affordable short course on the topic. Check out the details here.

STEP 4: Determine which products you would like to replace with DIY and make a list of recipes

Rather than throw everything away, I would suggest one of two approaches to making this decision.

  1. Wait until you have run out of a particular product, then find the DIY alternative. Some of the most popular starting points for cleaning are: Regular Washing Powder, Foaming Body (or hand) Wash, Citrus Cleaning Spray, and for body care: Night Face Lotion, Whipped Body Cream and Natural Deodorant PasteThis way will certainly ease you into the DIY space at a more relaxed pace, and could be the option that is most sustainable and affordable for many.
  1. Replace the items that you use frequently, that will have the most positive and impactful results. This is especially useful if your main motivation is to reduce toxins because of a health or wellness complaint (eczema, migraines, fatigue, eye or lung irritation etc.). Note: if you’re going to discard them, consider recycling programs, like this one, or perhaps donate them to a shelter or to those in need.

You can check out all of my free recipes online here and also in my book Naturally Inspired. Have a look and get list-writing!

STEP 5: Create a list of ingredients

This blog will help you work out the most common ingredients used in my DIY recipes, and how to easily create a list of required ingredients. Basically, you want to create a DIY hit-list, then write down all required ingredients, tallying up quantities required. It’s quite simple really.

I also share info on each of the ingredients I use in my recipes, which is useful if you have never heard of Vegetable Glycerine or Activated Charcoal, for example.

    STEP 6: Source your ingredients and DIY tools/accessories

    I share some of my favourite suppliers of ingredients here. Of course you may have other sources, and if so, please share them with me so I can add them to my list.

    When it comes to tools/accessories, I keep it as basic as possible. Simplicity is among my most favourite of words. Most people can get away with what they have in their kitchen already: bowls, spatulas, spoons, a blender and hand-mixer etc. Kitchen scales that measure to the gram are very handy, as is a double boiler (two nested saucepans: the top, which could also be a glass jug or bowl, containing ingredients, and the bottom with gently simmering water – enough to cover the bottom of the saucepan – about 5 cm | 2 in). If you happen to have a thermal appliance, you’ll be happy to know that many of my recipes also include adaptations for this appliance.

    STEP 7: Become familiar with the recipe, safety considerations and shelf life, and get my tips on cleaning up

    It is important that you read every recipe from top to bottom before starting. This helps you to understand the process and get prepared.

    In this blog I share information on safety consideration, preservatives and shelf life. It’s so vital to understand that DIY products don’t contain hardcore preservatives, meaning your creations might only last a fraction of the time that your mainstream commercial stuff did (and this is a good thing!). You should also be aware that not all ingredients/recipes are suitable for everyone, such as pregnant women, children and the elderly, and that some ingredients need to be handled with extra care and more respect than others.

    I share FAQs, tips and recipe measurement information in this blog – you might find this useful to read before starting.

    Cleaning up after DIY is something that can be very simple if you’ve made washing powder or a facial scrub, and tricky if you’ve made sunscreen or body cream (sorry to break it to you!). Once you’ve got these pointers though, you’ll be grand!

    STEP 8: Make stuff and enjoy all the awesome feels!

     This is the most fun bit, making stuff! A few parting tips:

        • Be kind to yourself and be kind to the process.
        • Adjust your expectations, and don’t stress if things don’t always work out the first time.
        • Join my Facebook discussion group and tap into the ideas, advice and feedback of 18 000+ other DIY-ers!
        • To help lighten the load, why not get together with a few friends and make a few different recipes each, sharing your goodies between yourselves? This means you get to invest half the time but get double the reward.
        • And finally, pay attention to how DIY makes you feel. Hopefully you feel empowered, motivated, inspired, healthier, cleaner, brighter, better! And if you do, tell someone. The more people that realise we simply don’t need half of the stuff we’re led to believe we need (thanks ‘clever’ marketing from not-so-clever companies), the better off we (and planet and people of tomorrow) will be!
    Krissy Ballinger

    Krissy Ballinger

    Author, Advocate & Founder

    With a background in health promotion, Krissy's passion is to educate and increase awareness on reducing the number of toxins that people expose themselves to on a daily basis, through an honest, simple and realistic approach.

    She has sold over 20,000 self-published books and is now published as the author of Naturally Inspired, Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning.

    Her recipes have taken her to the screen on more than one occasion, with morning TV appearances, and she received recognition as a ‘Woman Who Will Change The World’ in the AusMumpreneur business awards in 2018.

    Quitting a Nasty Habit – Goodbye Perfume, Hello Natural Fragrance

    Quitting a Nasty Habit – Goodbye Perfume, Hello Natural Fragrance

    I ditched perfume and all synthetically fragranced products around 5 years ago, and when I did, I noticed what felt like an instant relief. I’m a headache-sufferer and this one particular type of headache I used to get, that I thought was ‘normal’, disappeared almost immediately, and I generally felt clearer and brighter. Unless you’re in the same boat as me, having ditched the fake fragrance yourself, you may not realise how awesome you could be feeling – we often think we feel good until we feel better, and ditching perfumed products is a quick way to go about it!

    Now, I get it – us humans tend to link some very strong emotions to perfume, in particular, and it’s hard for many of us to go cold turkey. Despite no longer using perfume, I will confess that I have kept two bottles (from about 22 bottles!), simply for a once-a-year whiff to evoke some powerful memories and emotions. There is a bottle of Anais Anais that takes me back to my beautiful grandmother’s lap, and a bottle of Marc Jacob’s Daisy sees me facing my wonderful husband on our wedding day at St. Ignatius Church in Melbourne. I’ll chance a little sniff of these to intensify the feel-goods, allowing me to relive those memories for a brief moment.

    As it currently stands, there is no chance my children will need to whiff any perfume to remember me. I just love (and am very proud) that they associate the smell of jasmine, and ylang ylang, with me – that warm, safe, comforting space I hold in their hearts. Oh, and maybe roast potatoes – there is nothing quite like dinner smells to fill our hearts and get us reminiscing!

    If you need a little background knowledge (or a refresher) on fake fragrance and everything that is wrong with it, have a read of this blog. Let’s be clear here, I’m not only talking about the numerous unlisted chemicals in those pretty perfume bottles. Fragrance is that sketchy, vague umbrella term given to – what could be – hundreds of different synthetic ingredients found in so many body care and cleaning products. It is the modern day ‘smoking’ and is probably the first ingredient I tell people to add to their watch-list when reading labels.

    I’m a huge advocate for balance when tackling, and reducing, toxins but I really want to encourage you to take fragrance seriously and try your best to eliminate it from your cupboards and shelves. If the process of ditching those fake fragrances feels daunting at first, know that it is actually a very simple and achievable goal.

    So, does ditching the fake fragrance sound like something you want to tackle? If so, you’re in the right place. I have some really simple strategies and suggestions for you that will have you smelling sensational (and feeling vibrant) in no time!

    There are so many DIY and non-toxic options to smell divine. Essential oils are my perfume now. I love knowing that the fragrance I am applying to my skin is safe and beneficial to my body, serving more than just one aromatic purpose. It is worth noting that essential oils are potent plant extracts and we do need to exercise caution when using them. Check out my favourite blends and brands of essential oils, as well as some safety information here.

    Most of my DIY recipes incorporate gorgeous-smelling essential oils and hydrosols. Some of my favourite fragrance replacements include:

    • Perfume or cologne: add 10g carrier oil and 50 drops of essential oils to a glass bottle with a roller top, or a dropper, and shake gently to combine. This also makes a lovely gift if you add dried botanicals, herbs and spices to it – just make sure they are completely dried to avoid spoilage. (Recipe from Naturally Inspired
    • Perfume balm: I love that DIY recipes can be so versatile, my Basic Firm Lip Balm recipe can also be used to make a perfume balm if you add in a greater concentration of essential oils – try doubling the oils to start with. Just apply to your wrists, the nape of your neck and behind your ears.
    • Another simple option is to add some essential oils and water to a spray bottle to make a natural body spritzer. I would pop around 30 drops of your favourite essential oils into a glass spray bottle, add a pinch of salt and top with purified water. Shake well before each use (read my notes here on preservatives). This is also a recipe you could use to replace any room freshener sprays.
    • Hair Perfume Mist: having gorgeous-smelling hair is a wonderful-pick-me-up and helpful for when you might need to stretch out days between washes. Simply add 50g rose water to a glass bottle with spray atomiser and add 20 drops of your favourite essential oils (I love ylang ylang, bergamot and grapefruit). Since oil and water don’t mix, you’ll need to shake well prior to use and spray lightly over hair as required.
    • Along with my Natural Fabric Softener, I love to add 2-3 drops of essential oils with each wash. Even if you’re simply using white vinegar in the softener compartment, adding a few drops of essential oils will add that beautiful extra fresh scent to washing.
    • Dryer pads: I rarely use a clothes dryer, however, once in a while it can be quite nice to pull your clothes out of a dryer and have them smelling like a field of lavender – the real kind! Just add 3-4 drops of essential oils to either a microfibre cloth, cotton pad or sock (that doesn’t give off fluff) along with the next load in your dryer. I love using lavender, eucalyptus and lemon essential oils.
    • A handy way to freshen your car is to drop your favourite essential oil onto an old sock, rag or cotton wool and pop it in the cup holder, or in the compartment on the door. It really is an effective way to scent your car for around a week at a time (oh, and peppermint and lemon is my favourite combo for this purpose).

    So there you have it, plenty of simple ways to replace fragrance. Not only are these suggestions effective and way better than synthetic fragrances, but they’re also economical and practically waste-free. Find even more recipes in my DIY recipe book Naturally Inspired, such as Fragrant Body Powder, Simmering Scent Pot, Fragrant Jelly Jar (another cool option to scent small rooms) as well as Spiced Floral Medley (a gorgeous modern-day potpourri).

    Krissy Ballinger

    Krissy Ballinger

    Author, Advocate & Founder

    With a background in health promotion, Krissy's passion is to educate and increase awareness on reducing the number of toxins that people expose themselves to on a daily basis, through an honest, simple and realistic approach.

    She has sold over 20,000 self-published books and is now published as the author of Naturally Inspired, Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning.

    Her recipes have taken her to the screen on more than one occasion, with morning TV appearances, and she received recognition as a ‘Woman Who Will Change The World’ in the AusMumpreneur business awards in 2018.

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