Since many of us have kids out of school right now, I figured this is the perfect time to announce my latest project. I didn’t want to tell anyone until it was nearly finished, you know…not to add too much pressure on myself.
I finished a book and published it in January! Rise of the Pharaoh Cats- A Monster-Hunting Adventure with the LIFERS. I’ve recently added a BOOKS tab to my webpage, so they can be found easily as I publish more blog posts and tutorials in the coming months.
I haven’t posted regularly in a while and that’s because I’ve been writing educational middle grade books! If you’re cooped up inside like we are, check it out and it’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
Very few people knew that I’ve recently finished writing, designing, and self-publishing my second fictional novel. I’m pushing myself beyond my normal barriers, and sharing this great accomplishment with more than just my mom.
The second book in this series I’ve already written and my editor has it now! I’ll be starting the third one next week.
While there’s a gazillion reasons why I could have written this book, the real reason was that I want to write THIS book series is to spark the imagination and a life-long love of reading in busy children. My son found his love of reading at a young age, but not all kids do.
- In the FIRST book in the series has vocabulary words for grades 4th-8th, ancient Egyptian Cats, and a fast-paced fantasy adventure with the LIFERS: Lifeless-Inhumane-Feral-Exctraction-Recovery-Squad. It has 20 illustrations and drawings.
- The SECOND book will be available soon. The Werewolf Blues- A Monster-Hunting Adventure with the LIFERS.
Get your copy today! These make a great gifts for the middle graders and elementary teachers in your life.
It’s been a while since I released a tutorial but this is a great one. This was done last summer, and I’ve finished the video for you. I designed and remodeled my kitchen and powder room myself, which took loads of my time… once a wall was removed by my wonderful contractor.
Today I’m going to show you how you can use rich, bold color stain on unfinished (or previously stripped) cabinetry. The vibrant hue I chose, highlights the natural beauty of the maple wood. I love the bold design element that it adds to the entire floor of the house.
Watch the Video tutorial here.
When you needed to make a mold of something, there’s several products to choose from out there. One of the easiest products to find is the Amazing Brand Mold Putty system. You can find it at all box craft stores for under $20 and if you bring your coupon, it’s even cheaper. If you can’t find it in your area you can find it here (I make a small commission should you purchase it here).
Here I’ll show you how to use the Amazing Mold Putty for flawless results, give my honesty review, and explain its ideal uses.
There are a lot of different mold making supplies and brands out there to choose from. How do you choose which ones right for you? This review will help you decide if a flexible silicone mold is the right choice for the project.
You open the box and there are two canisters inside. One of them has white silicone and one of them has yellow silicone inside. Leave these closed until you’re going to use them.
To make a mold you use equal parts of part A and part B and mix them together in your hands. Avoid using the same utensil in both containers, unused parts shouldn’t touch the other part.
You need to work quickly because there’s a chemical reaction that takes place when the touch each other and this one will set up fairly quickly. When they’ve made a lighter yellow color and they’re completely mixed, make a ball out of it and press your item to be molded into the surface of the ball. Doing it this way will ensure there’s a flat surface on the bottom of the mold so it’s not difficult to pour liquid into later.
The things that you can make using this product are endless. You can make new buttons, beads, jewelry, the list goes on and on. And on and on.
What are some qualities of the Amazing silicone mold putty?
- It’s a very easy to work with system. It’s kind of like playing with clay. You really do just mix equal parts together. There’s no weighing anything out you just visually match equal parts. You’ve got 2-3 minutes to work with it (its pot-life) and make your mold.
- You can very easily press shapes into it. You can also easily press it into shapes if you’ve made your own creations out of clay.
- You can shape it around an object using gentle pressure. I’ve created more complex molds with it this way and even things I held while it cured. When you press your object into it it’s easy to manipulate it around tiny details on the edges.
- It works best with buttons, broaches, and other one sided things. It’s really not meant to be used if you’re trying to make something 3D.
- It’s not overly complex, there’s no stinky fumes, and it doesn’t have long cure times. It cures completely in about 15 minutes!
- This product is pretty mess free as far as mold making supplies go. There are zero runny liquids to deal with like latex and other silicone.
- Once it’s cured it creates a mold that’s fairly flexible, but pretty ridged. It’s not at all hard like plaster. If you make it flex too far it could tear. Once again, this is great for little shapes and objects pressed into the top of the surface.
- No need for a mother mold or support. Unlike some other mold making supplies this doesn’t need any kind of additional support to be a mold . It’s just a rigid enough to hold itself up without needing a lot of product.
- This product holds fine details really well. Even very fine details in your object will be reproduced in the mold.
- This makes a more sturdy mold and than latex, and will break down slower over time than latex.
- Silicone molds can be reused many times if you use a spray release or release on them every time you cast something like a resin into it. A silicone mold, like many other molds will pull moisture from the mold, so using the release in it means you can use the mold multiple times. If it’s a one-time-use mold you don’t need to worry about a mold release.
- This is a very easily a product to find and purchase and almost all the box crafts stores carry it.
- It’s not suitable for reusing a LOT of times. I think I’ve gotten around 10 casts from one mold before it starts deteriorating. This means it will lose detail and it’ll actually flake off in your resin creations.
Your idea of a lot of times may differ, but I have cast hundreds of the same thing from this stuff and just gotten about 10 from an individual mold.
- It can tear while you’re de-molding or getting your stuff out of it. If your object is really embedded in it, or you tried to make it mold a very complicated shape, it can be too difficult to get an item or cast item back out without tearing the mold.
Overall I recommend the Amazing brand silicone mold putty as an easy to use mold making material that doesn’t require any previous experience in mold making. Whether you’re a first time user or an experienced user you’ll achieve similar results. You can make outstanding custom pieces with these molds or reproduce an irreplaceable button like a pro.
If you’re anything like me, time can get away from you and before you know it, you’re really far behind. I haven’t posted in a while, and that’s because we went through some huge changes, here at I Breathe I DIY. This blog and site will be undergoing massive changes in the next weeks. I have wanted to post tutorials for you, but I saved them up for the next really big thing this site is doing!
This blog was originally started as two long-term friends getting together and doing DIYs. That changed drastically, and Sara is no longer with the company since Dec, leaving me to try to find the inspiration to keep it going. I’ve also not wanted to deal with it honestly, because I’m in pain from losing a dear friend, due to holding onto my own personal boundaries. Also, since we’re being honest, I’m not completely satisfied with the massive companies we chose to affiliate with, and want to shake things up. I want to support local and small business more, and things I personally use.
I ended up trying to continue with the DIYs by myself, because I have so many wonderful followers, and I get great suggestions, and input from my viewers. My heart wasn’t in it though, and I had to find a new way to share my love of art, design, sewing, sculpting, and to show you my professional designs with this new blog and site. I’m liquidating this blog & adding it to part of my personal artist’s site.
Starting in the next weeks, this blog will be changing to Betsy Katz Designs and you will get to follow my projects, commissions, remodeling, etc, through the blog. The new site will highlight my art portfolio, fine art photography, sculptures, novels, interior design, wearable art, products for sale, and oh my gosh, so much more.
Because I love teaching you how I do the things that I do, I’ll continue to make tutorials and videos to share with you. I have so many techniques, reviews, and tutorials to share with you, but to be true to myself, I have to be myself – and that means ending I Breathe I DIY.
Thank you for being patient while this chapter ends, and a new one begins. As always, thank you for your support and time. I’m excited to be able to let you into my world, and I hope you enjoy the changes!
If you’ve ever wanted to start your own vegetable or herb seeds indoors, and don’t think you have the space, you have got to see this super easy, small-closet grow space video I made. I show you my actual grow closet as I’m setting it back up for the year.
This idea could be used in any small areas like crawl spaces, sheds, garages, basements, closets, and more. If you have heat and power, you can set up your own grow space. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy growing your own food from seeds.
Here is a list of supplies for this closet:
When trying to decide what DIY to do next, I have a huge list of things that I can choose from. I have a big list of things I want to show you and I can’t really know what you want to see. This site really is about the readers and viewers. You’re suggestions would really help me narrow down and fine tune what you really want to see.
Do you prefer written tutorials, or are you a visual learner, and you want to see more videos? Fill out the form below and tell me what you think.
Is there a tutorial that you would love to see me do? Send your ideas for DIY’s and I’ll pick one each month and make a tutorial. What would you would love to learn?
Did you ever want to make something out of resin, but didn’t know where to start? Have you ever wondered how people make custom things out of resin for their art? I’m going to teach you how you can make anything you can imagine, a finished resin piece of your very own creation you can actually hold.
The amount of things you can make are unbelievable. Please share this DIY!
I get a lot of questions about how I make the things that I do, and the crazy things I create, and for the projects that I get myself into. I’ve used this technique to make a lot of things for products, art, props, costuming, and sooo much more.
This year I am very excited to be a designer for the most prestigious and creative of all the wearable arts competitions in the world. I’ve worked my tail off, using these exact same techniques, to produce some of the outfit that I’ll be featuring in the competition. Because of the nature of competition, I can’t show you any of my actual project. Expect photos after September.
In this tutorial we’ll sculpt, mold, and cast little things, so you can try it out for yourself. This is a long DIY, so I will be taking off next week. You can expect another DIY after that.
We’re going to make the dangling feathers on this decorative sun-catcher. This DIY is for beginners, so we’ll be making a fairly easy shape that has one main side with detail, and a back that doesn’t matter, similar to a button or cabochon . This is NOT how you make things with detail on all sides, like a figurine. That’s far too much detail and for this. That’s fun for another time.
We’re going to focus on creating, the whole thing – from start to finish. I chose this DIY, because I want you to know how unbelievable your own ideas are, and how easily you can make them reality!
Let’s get on with those steps already!
Supplies for this tutorial are:
- Clay – I use Chavant NSP Oil Based Clay, but any non-drying clay works
- Alumilite Amazing Mold Putty Kit
- Silicone Mold Release Spray
- Resin of your choice (this is similar to what I used) Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast resin
- Inexpensive Cooking tray
- Resin colorant/pigments Transparent Green Resin Dye
- Embroidery floss
- Sandpaper Fine grit and medium grit (for any sharp edges)
- Sculpting clay tools or anything to help create shapes
- Popsicle sticks, spoons, toothpicks, and your hands are options too
- Fine Glitter
Start by warming a small amount of clay in your hands or with a hairdryer if you’re using oil clay. Each type will be different, but work a bit around in your hands to soften it. Roll it into a ball then slightly flatten in your hand to get closer to the shape you want to make.
Press the clay to the center of your tray to make it stick slightly. You don’t want it to move around much. The feather we’re making is fairly thick, between 1/4 & 1/8 inch so we can drill a hole and hang them. The clay is even thicker than that at this point.
Use sculpting tools to shape the feather, working on the basic shape and thickness first. Remove material to make your shape. Add a central vein down the middle by carving out the sides and leaving the center strip.
Smooth out the shape and then add the fine detail lines to the feather, starting at the main vein and going out and down, just like a real feather. Anything on the clay will show up, so keep it clean and smooth for the best results. I added additional texture to mine, you can do anything you want.
If you’re familiar with sculpting or clay, use its solvent and a very soft paintbrush to smooth it out more. Otherwise use your fingers or tools to smooth it and remove the little pills (balls of clay) that form from sculpting it.
Place this is the fridge, or outside if it’s cold out to harden the clay a little. You don’t want to try to freeze it, that would be bad in the end, but rather chill it to make it firmer.
Note: You can either do the next step on the tray, or carefully lift the clay from it and press it into the mold (that’s what I did.) Use string to cut it off the tray if needed and smooth the edges.
Get out equal parts of mold putty part A and part B using a spoon or other thing that can reach it. Do not touch one to the other. Measure them side by side separately, so you have the same amount of each. You want them to cover your shape, so use your judgement.
Quickly mix both parts together in your hands, until there are no swirls in the color and they are fully mixed. You only have 2-3 mins of working time, so quickly make your mold. Make a ball out of it, then slightly smoosh it and stretch it to closer the size of the clay feather.
Place the silicone on a tray and slowly press the clay shape FACE DOWN into it. Submerge the clay’s detail and press the silicone around the edges of the clay with your fingers to enclose the shape, without covering the back -now top. Lightly push the edges snugly around the shape.
Give yourself at least 1/4 inch around the outside edge of the clay shape and be careful not to press it too deep because you don’t want the mold to be thin where your detail is.
Give the mold 15 minutes and check if the silicone is cured by lightly touching the mold. If it indents, it’s not done. If it’s hard to the touch it’s finished.
When it’s finished, it’s time to de-mold, or take it out of the mold. Gently remove the clay feather from the mold, getting all the clay debris out. Be careful not to stretch it too far, which will cause rips.
Note: The mold putty comes in two tubes, part A & part B. When you remove the amount you need from one, used a different utensil to get the other one out. Unused parts can’t touch each other at all. Like not even a little.
Interesting Note: Advanced users will know that if the mold ends up with smeared chunks of clay in it that you just can’t get out no matter how much you try or scream at it, you will need to do a first pull, or cast resin in it, just to get the clay out. A fast curing resin, like what’s used for model cars, is usually used for this. Keep it simple so you can try out the materials, not test their limits.
Always spray your mold with mold release suitable for what you’re going to dump into it. You may get one good pull out of it, but resin and other materials will dry out your mold and stick to it, ripping it when you try to de-mold. It’s worth crying over (or at least losing a lot of time and money). This isn’t a mold for chocolate. Just spray it!
Measure out your resin by weight or volume, whichever it needs. I’m using a clear resin with Castin’ Craft’s green translucent pigment. I also poured one of the feathers with fine gold glitter, added to the clear.
Be sure not to over-pour resin into the mold. It dries VERY hard & you will have to sand down the extra.
Let the resin cure for the recommended amount of time, per instructions. Mine is about 24 hours. Every time you pour the mold, it takes that long before you can get it out and do it again. Now you see why I chose three lovely feathers for this tutorial.
Carefully de-mold your resin treasure! I drilled holes in the sides, added gold embroidery floss, and hung them on a small branch. TADA!
You can reuse your new mold around 10+ times before it deteriorates as long as you spray it with release.
I hope you liked this tutorial. I would love to see what this inspires you to make. Email me a photo with a short description of your project @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Your project may be chosen to be featured on my website.
Some cats need space to run around and climb. If you have a kitty, that climbs your cabinets, and looks down on you from bookcases, then this tutorial is for you. I’ll show you how you can easily install shelves on a wall to create a cat climbing paradise using inexpensive IKEA shelf brackets and shelves. You can create modern shelves that are strong enough for a cat to leap onto, while easy enough anyone with some simple tools can install it.
This tutorial will teach you to install shelves with brackets even if you don’t need a cat wall.
Please like and share this DIY with someone you know could use it!
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.
Imagine immersing into your bathtub filled with calming, warm (to mildly hot) water with mineral salts and essential oils. Breathe in. MMMM. Breathe out. Do it again. One more time. Yes. Much better. Your stress begins to dissolve. Like magic. Only, it’s science.
My favorite is a relaxing bath. I’m not talking about bathing. The shampooing and soaping – that’s a shower. I am talking about cleansing and rejuvenating. Soothing the mind, body, and emotions. Soaking in a pool of bath salts and essential oils is a surefire way to help your, well everything, CHILL OUT.
This is self care time on a whole other level. The benefits of the bath salts themselves are worth the 20 minutes, and all you have to do is lay there. How beautiful is that?! Add essential oils targeted to a specific issue and you’ve got yourself a power spa of wellness, Baby! (Blends coming up!)
So, here’s a brief breakdown of the benefits of bath salts. For an adult, you only need 1 cup of these in your bath.
- Improved magnesium absorption
- Reduces pain and swelling in muscles and joints
- Promotes sleep
- Reduces stress
- Increases hydration
- Detoxifies the body
- Reduces muscle cramps
Pretty spectacular, right?!
This recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of the two bath salts, and I am laying it out 1 cup at a time. Please, feel free to put more together and store it in a large mason jar. I just find it much more manageable to get the oils and salts as one when this is done one cup at a time.
You will need:
- Bath salts (Epsom, Himalayan)
- Essential Oils (List below)
- Bowl for mixing
- 1 Cup measuring cup (dry ingredients)
- Mason jar(s)
Step 1: Sterilize your jar(s). To do this, wash them by hand in hot soapy water. Rinse them in scalding water. Set jars on a rack in a deep pot and cover with hot water (not boiling). Bring water to a boil, cover and boil the jars for 15 minutes, beginning when steam starts coming out of the pot. Turn off the heat, leaving the jars in the hot water for 10-15 min. Pull the jars out and let dry, inverted, on a towel. The goal is to fill them while they are still hot. While you wait for the jars to dry, throw the lids in the pot and boil for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Measure your bath salts into a bowl. Give them a little stir, then…
Step 3: Add your essential oils (20 drops MAX for every cup of bath salts). Don’t just let the drops collect in one spot. Let them fall all over the surface. This helps when you begin to stir. Which is what you do next!
Step 4: Stir it like you’re beating an egg. And by that I mean vigorously, without flinging salt everywhere. The idea is to get every grain of salt in contact with the essential oils so they’re blended.
Step 5: Pour/spoon salt blend into the jar, and screw on the lid.
Now LABEL your bath salts. Know what’s in there, and let others know what’s in there too.
NOTE: These make really great gifts (wink wink). For example, you can decorate your jar with fabric, twine, or ribbon. It truly is the kind of gift a person can soak up the goodness from.
OK, the two blends we’re making today are for stress and sleep. Enjoy!
Sleep Soundly Bath Salt Blend
1/2 Cup Epsom salts
1/2 Cup Himalayan Bath Salts
6 drops Bergamot oil
12 drops Lavender oil
2 drops Chamomile oil
Stress Melt Bath Salt Blend
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup Himalayan Bath Salts
10 drops Margoram oil
5 drops Juniper oil
5 drops Clary Sage oil
Note: If any of these oils irritate you, here are other oils good for….
NOTE: Remember only 20 drops of essential oils per 1 cup of salts. More is not better!
You know, when you think about it, it seems that a good number of the oils that are helpful for relieving stress, also promote good sleep. Coincidence? Nope! Coincidences aren’t real.
Anywho, there are a number of possibilities for your bath. You can customize the oils you put into your bath salts for whatever ailments you want: overworked muscles, a cold or flu, a headache, depression, anxiety; to name a few. Nearly endless I tell you!
For more great bath salt blends we created for you click here.
OK, I hope you have enjoyed this DIY as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.
Please leave a comment. And if you love it, share it! Thank you!
Taking care of yourself can be hard to remember to do, but serious self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. We’re taught and programmed to go, go, go all the time, and it takes effort to make yourself have me time. There’s nothing you need to do that’s more important than scheduling yourself a mini-vacation from your stress and worries.
I believe that relaxing is so important, that I’m giving you TWO weeks of Custom Salt blends to get us all through the holidays.
Stay tuned for more great blends next week.
- This week Betsy will share her favorites that are quick and easy, using only easy to get supplies.
- Next week Sara will share her favorites, as well as her final post, here on I Breathe I DIY.
These relaxing bath salts are the perfect answer to quickly unwinding and letting your brain have a break. A great soaking bath, can soothe the soul this time of year and any other. These make an amazing gift to give too.
Some of these blends have flowers in them and there’s no better way to keep flowers off your bum than using a re-usable cotton tea bag to hold the mixture in the tub! Find the DIY for the tea bag HERE.
For a moment, I want to talk to you about self-care. Yea I know, you try. I used to have to try too. It’s tricky to fit everything into a day. You tell yourself you should really do more things regularly like meditate, take a long bath, go to the gym more, whatever, just for yourself. For me, things came up and got in the way, as they always do, and I was being left ragged and tired every day. I made more time for myself happen.
I just moved wanting more time for self-care into my MUST do list, instead of letting it linger on my SHOULD do list. You can too. Make a short list of things in your life that need to be moved from, “Oh I should do that” to your, “I MUST do this ” list. Small steps really will take you where you want to go. Start by granting yourself time to soak in the bath!
The magnesium in the Epsom salt has many well documented health benefits including lowering anxiety, relieving migraines, helping calcium absorption, and it can be absorbed through the skin. Not to mention, Epsom salts’ ability to relieve aching muscles. Amazing stuff.
Make a batch of these, and your you time is always within reach.
- Mason jars or other airtight containers
- Epsom salts
- Essential oils (Listed below)
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- Dry flowers (Listed below)
- Reusable cotton tea bag (See the DIY I did here)
Take time to soak away your stress. Let yourself unwind with these easy recipes to relax today… or tonight.
These make 1 cup of bath soak, so increase your recipe depending on your needs.
Unwind and Calm Salt Soak
Note: This makes a great personal salt soak to keep on hand. This is a great blend for anti-anxiety and for recovery when people pleasing has been at an all-time-high.
Relaxing Floral Soak
- 1 Cup Epsom Salt
- 1/8 Cup Chamomile flowers
- 1/8 Cup Hibiscus flowers
- 1/8 Cup Lavender Flowers
- 14 drops Lavender oil
- 6 drops Frankincense oil
To use: 1 cup per tub is recommended. Place a scoop of the mixture into a reusable cotton tea bag to prevent it from clogging your drain…and making a mess of your tub, and your skin. It may take two bags to hold it all depending on yours. Turn the tea bag inside out over the garbage to clean it out. Wash & reuse again and again.
Note: Mix in a large mixing bowl. Store it in a large container, or place it into smaller containers to give as gifts. To decrease simply use half of the listed ingredients. I grew my flowers, bu.t you can easily buy these varieties.
Headache Relief Bath Salt Soak
- 1 Cup Epsom Salt
- 14 drops Peppermint oil
- 2 drops Lavender oil
- 3 drops Eucalyptus oil
- 2 drops Chamomile oil
Note: This blend has a significant cooling effect on the skin, so it’s perfect for helping you cool down, but not for warming you up.
Mix them all together and let it dry out before sealing it up in an airtight container.
RELAX your cares away. Let nothing disturb your bath. No. It’s your time now. You’re no good to anyone, if you’re ragged and fraying at the seams. Breathe in the steam and let yourself have this little victory of youness.
Please share this tutorial if you love it.