Our Favorite Hot Cocoa Bars for National Hot Chocolate Day!

Happy National Hot Chocolate Day! Did you know that was a thing? We didn’t either but now we’re in love with the idea. After all, who says no to a warm, cozy mug of hot cocoa?! Being the perfect seasonal beverage, we love the idea of having a build your own hot cocoa bar at your winter event or wedding this season. There are so many fun things you can include: Bailey’s, candy canes, all the marshmallows you could ever dream of… the list of possibilities is endless! So in honor of this national holiday, we’re sharing some of our favorite inspiration shots to help you dream up your own DIY hot cocoa bar this season! Cheers!

Entertain Your Friends with This Unique DIY Party This Summer

Image Source: Style Me Pretty

Image Source: Style Me Pretty

Summer entertaining is one of our favorite activities, but the same old BBQ can get repetitive pretty quickly. Today, we’re switching it up with a great creative and fun option that will have all your friends talking for weeks to come: a DIY at home sip and paint party! Yup, you read that right. There’s no need to go drop a ton of money to paint something at a studio that you may not even like, plus buy drinks and snacks on top of it all when you can recreate the evening for a much more budget friendly price tag at home. Where do you begin in the planning? No worries girl, we’ve got you!

What You’re Painting

Image Source: Kery B.

Image Source: Kery B.

There are so many options when it comes to a paint night. The most commonly selected items are either canvases or wine glasses. Once you pick what you want to paint, head to the local craft store to pick up all your supplies. Check with a sales associate to make sure you’re getting the right kinds of paint! Pinterest is another great resource for picking designs and gathering material lists. Make sure you have a good variety of colors -- or at least base colors that can be mixed -- in case people want to put their own spin on things! If people still want to attend but are somewhat creatively-challenged, supply some adult coloring books and markers as an alternative to the painting. Still crafty and fun, but less of a production!

What You’re Eating

Finger food is where it’s at for this event! Stick with easy apps and desserts. No need for real heavy main meals when your hands will be busy painting. You basic spread of dips, veggies, fruits, etc. will do just fine. Add in some yummy sweet treats for later in the night too. We’re suckers for a good assortment of cookies and brownies. Once again, think easy to grab and pop into your mouth between brush strokes.

Image Source: The Chunky Chef

Image Source: The Chunky Chef

What You’re Drinking

Obviously this is catered to what you and your girls usually partake in. If you’re looking for something fun and new, we love these summer cocktails, but our drink of the summer has to be this delicious twist on lemonade! These give you options for alcoholic and non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy a fun drink regardless.

Set the Mood

Don’t forget to create a fun playlist to paint to and proper coverings for your tables. No need for over the top decor, this is about having a fun time with your friends without breaking the bank. Let the art create the bright and fun atmosphere!

Make Sure You're Prepared for Your Summer Entertaining with These Essentials

Image Source: @sgardnerstyle

Image Source: @sgardnerstyle

We’re excited it’s summertime and we love entertaining! The beautiful summer weather creates the perfect atmosphere for a gathering, whether it be with family, friends, or a significant other.

If you’re hosting outside, create an ambiance with some fairy lights strung around the yard and a comfy blanket thrown on the patio furniture for when it gets a little chilly after sunset. To stay out all night stargazing with no worries, we love this DIY Bug Spray.

Image Source: Etsy

Image Source: Etsy

DIY Bug Spray

The smell of bug spray is almost as pesky as bugs, so here’s a DIY recipe for some spray that’s more enjoyable!

You’ll need:

  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 20 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 30 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 30 drops of citronella essential oil
  • ½ cup of water or vinegar
  • ½ cup of natural witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin (optional)

Once you have all your ingredients start by putting all the essential oils in a spray bottle with the rubbing alcohol and shake. Next, add the witch hazel and shake again. If you decide to use vegetable glycerin add it now, if not no worries! Finish it off by adding the water and shaking once more. Voila! You have some homemade bug spray that smells lovely and is chemical free- just remember to shake the bottle before each use!

Even if you’re entertaining outside, that doesn’t mean your inside can’t be just as nice! In your bathroom you can create a little assortment of goodies for your guests to use when they have to make a pit stop. Include some room spray, mints, and individual face cloths rather than just one towel. These DIY summer soaps add the cutest touch to your bathroom!

Image Source: Baby Center

Image Source: Baby Center

DIY Summer Soap

These individual soaps are great to give as gifts or to keep for yourself! Plus, they’re 100% customizable.

You’ll need:

  • Cute soap molds (we think these flowers are perfect for summer!)
  • Clear glycerin soap
  • Soap colorant of your choice (can easily be found on amazon or your local craft store!)
  • Soap scent or essential oil of your choice

All you have to do is melt your glycerin soap in a glass container. Once it’s melted you want to mix in the colorant and scent you chose, then pour it in a mold. Once it hardens, your soap is ready!

Bring the Beach Waves Home with This Amazing DIY Spray!

Image Source: ModCloth Blog

Image Source: ModCloth Blog

Going to the beach is one of the highlights of summer time, but sadly we don’t always have the time to take a trip to the ocean. However, there’s an easy way you can bring the beach home with you in your beauty routine! Here’s a homemade way to get beautiful beachy waves with products you already have laying around the house.

First you need a spray bottle, which can be found at most stores in the toiletries section. Next, gather your ingredients. For this spray you’ll need:

  • Two tablespoons of sea salt (or you could try some Epsom salt!)

  • One tablespoon of melted coconut oil

  • One and a half cups of warm water

  • One tablespoon of hair gel

Add all of these ingredients to a clean spray bottle and shake well. Spray the product to your hair and let it dry, then you’ll have natural tousled waves! As an added bonus the coconut oil helps moisturize your hair to counteract the drying effect of salt, so you hair will be healthy and gorgeous all summer long!

Try This Super Simple DIY to Brighten Up Any Home!

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It’s hard to believe that spring has sprung and tomorrow is May… but we’re not complaining! April showers bring May flowers, so today we’re sharing a super easy DIY to start to bring those flowers into your home. Bright, fun wreaths are a simple way to incorporate that color and give your home an extra, welcoming pop of color. Part of why we love this wreath is that you can leave it up throughout the spring and summer months, and we love a versatile piece of decor made on a budget! This whole project cost a grand total of $13, how can you say no to that? Make sure you check for coupons before you head to your craft store, they always have sales going on!

What You’ll Need:

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  • 2 tulip bunches in your desired color(s)
  • 18 inch grapevine wreath
  • Garden scissors or wire cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • Garden wire (optional)

How to Assemble:

  1. Deconstruct your tulip bunches so you have a bunch of individual stems. Make sure to cut decent length stems as we’ll be tucking them into the wreath.
  2. While your hot glue gun warms up, start placing your tulip stems around the outer half of your wreath to test out spacing and placement.
  3. Once you have decided where you want your stems to be, start securing them in place with hot glue. If you’re worried you’re going to change your mind on placement, instead wrap each stem with garden wire to secure. Or, use a combination for extra tight security.
  4. Once your stems are all secured and in place, hang your wreath and enjoy! How simple was that?!

Make Your Own Terrarium Party

Image Source: Brit & Co

Image Source: Brit & Co

We are SO ready for spring! With that being said, we love a good springtime DIY. Why not share the fun with your girls? Today, we’re going over how to throw a fun little “make your own terrarium” party! Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes and are really quite easy to maintain, no matter what skill level you have when it comes to plants, you can keep a terrarium going! To host a make your own terrarium party, you really only need a few things. These fun DIYs are easy to keep on the inexpensive side, while still looking great and giving each person a unique result.

Image Source: Home My Design

Image Source: Home My Design

Shopping List:

  • Various sized and shaped glass containers
  • Activated charcoal
  • Rocks or pebbles
  • Potting soil
  • Succulents

Image Source: Wit and Whistle

Image Source: Wit and Whistle

Instructions: (via Buzzfeed)

  1. Choose your container container.
  2. Cover the bottom with an inch-thick layer of pebbles or rocks to create a false drainage system for the plant roots.
  3. Add a thin layer of activated charcoal. This keeps the water fresh, and prevents mold and bacteria from building up.
  4. Add a layer of potting soil. (They also make a special mix if you choose to use cacti and succulents instead of moss and ferns.)
  5. Place plants in the terrarium, starting with the largest plant first.
  6. Enjoy your beautiful new decor!

Add a Pop of Color to Your Coffee Table with this Simple DIY

Image Source: Brit + Co

Image Source: Brit + Co

The weather’s getting warmer, spring is inching closer, and floral DIYs are already taking over 2018. There’s so many options, from making your own jewelry out of of fresh flower or crafting your own custom boxed arrangement. You can even make a chic and minimalist wall clock out of roses! But some of these trendy DIYs can be a bit intimidating, with dozens of steps and pricey materials. Instead, grab a few petals from an arrangement you already have, pick up some dollar store picture frames, and make an adorable pressed flower coaster! They’re quick, simple, and look far more expensive than they actually cost to make.

Image Source: Hearth and Vine

Image Source: Hearth and Vine

These gorgeous coasters can be an affordable way to bring some more florals into a springtime wedding! Press some of the same flowers you’ll have in your bouquet and use them at your cocktail hour or gift them to your bridal party. Or, if you’re feeling crafty on a rainy spring day, make a set with some of your favorite flowers to glam up your coffee table with a bright pop of color!

Image Source: Etsy Journal

Image Source: Etsy Journal

Handmade’s version of this DIY is especially charming, and we love the vintage look they went with for their set. The gold foil edge is so on trend right now, but change the tape up to match your decor or event theme. If you’re feeling extra artsy, you can make tiny arrangements on each glass to really bring a charming and original touch to every coaster! We love the ones featured on Brit + Co. The colors are vibrant and the arrangements are quirky - it’s the perfect way to add a touch of springtime fun to your decor!


Below is Brit + Co’s step-by-step tutorial that any beginner would be able to follow!

  1. Arrange the flowers on top of four of the glass coasters.
  2. Secure the flowers down with a small dab of E6000 glue.
  3. Sandwich the flowers with another glass tile.
  4. Trim a 16.5 inch piece of copper tape and adhere it along the edges of the glass tiles. Try to center the copper tape as much as possible. This will help make the copper border look as clean and consistent as possible.
  5. Press the excess copper tape down to create the copper border detail.
  6. Run a smooth object along the copper tape to flatten any ridges that may have formed.
Image Source: kmpressed

Image Source: kmpressed

Easy DIY Holiday Gifts

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Tight budget for the holidays this year? We’ve all been there! Today we’re sharing two of our favorite, inexpensive and easy DIYs that make wonderful gifts. Customizable and perfect for just about anyone on your list, these quick and easy projects are a fun way to finish off those last few gifts in an afternoon. Whether you’re crafting alone or with the family, we guarantee these projects will be something the whole crowd will enjoy and put a smile on the recipients’ faces!


DIY Glass Ornaments

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Glass Ornaments are easier than you would think and they make a great impression! A simple winter wonderland or festive classic colors, these are two of our favorite ornament designs and each take 10 minutes, tops! Perfect to make in bulk and distribute to everyone in the family or grab as a last minute add-on for a forgotten party.

What You’ll Need:

  • Glass Ornaments
  • Small trees
  • Fake snow
  • Super glue or hot glue
  • Paint pens
  • Festive paper confetti

Instructions:

For a winter wonderland, start by hot gluing or super gluing your Christmas tree to the bottom of your ornament (we used tweezers to guide it into place). Once this dries, create a paper cone and pour your fake snow into the ornament, as much or as little as desired.

For your festive paper confetti ornament, we started by writing a simple “Merry Christmas” on the outside. Once this dries, simply fill the ornament with your confetti and call it a day!


DIY Hand Decorated Mugs

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A hand decorated mug is a great gift for almost anyone in your life! Whether it’s for their morning coffee or tea, or even a yummy mug cake recipe, everyone can use a great mug. Designing or painting the mug gives the perfect touch of personalization to put a smile on anyone’s face.

What You’ll Need:

  • Plain Ceramic Mugs
  • Assorted Paint Pens
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painters Tape
 
Parsimony DIY Gifts 070 resized.jpg

Instructions:

Either paint or draw your desired design on your mug. If case of mistakes, take a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol to remove any errors! Bake mugs at 250 F for 30 minutes to set your design. Add some hot cocoa goodies for the perfect gift!

DIY Holiday Home Decor

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Looking to add a festive pop to your walls? Us too! We love a good, free DIY project to add to the holiday cheer. A beautiful coloring page may not sounds like it would make a huge difference, but add some pops of color, throw it in a frame, and flank it with some framed wrapping paper and you have yourself  some beautiful decor on a budget! One of the best parts of creating your own decor is that you can easily pick whatever colors match your theme best. Coloring has proven to be beneficial to your health at any age, and the holiday madness is the perfect time to take a step back and do something for yourself.

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Be sure to download the PDF version of our coloring page and tag us in your posts, we would love to see how your creations turn out!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor

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Last minute change of plans has you rushing to get the house decorated in a short period of time? We’ve rounded up our favorite easy DIYs and free printable décor items to help you get entertainment-ready as fast and easily as possible! Happy Thanksgiving!




Thanksgiving Pie Garland via Martha Stewart


How To Guide: Halloween Parties

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Halloween is just around the corner, so let your inner child free with a fun and spirited party! Have nothing planned yet? We’ve got your back! Follow our entertainment guide for awesome recipes, decor, and games guaranteed to make your party a success.


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We decided to keep the food and drinks elegant, classy, but still spooky and Halloween themed! For appetizers we chose bite size and portable foods so you can easily mingle and save room for the entrèe and dessert. The entrèe should be beautiful and delicious, and the dessert should be fun and lively!.


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Drinks should be festive and enticing. Think dark colors and bright garnishes. Experiment, and take your mixology skills to a new level!


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The decor can be as over the top or subdued as you like! Want to scare your guests? Place creepy skeletons and masks about the house. String spider webs everywhere, and hide motion activated decorations to scare unexpecting guests. Want to keep it simple or have less of a clean up? Decorate with colorful pumpkins, leaves, and lanterns. Place some crows or bones across the mantle and on side tables.


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If you want a sit down dinner, make your table the focal point of your decor. Use dark table linens and plates. Make a table runner of flowers, skulls, and tall candlesticks. Scatter some creepy crawlers on napkins and flatware. Your guests will love the creativity!


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It’s not a party without some fun and games! Go all out and make the whole night a murder mystery game involving all your guests, or hire a fortune teller! On a smaller scale, carve pumpkins, play charades and pictionary with a Halloween theme, or assemble the classic donut-on-the-string eating contest!

Meet Mallory of Ellucy Stitches

We were lucky enough to sit down with Mallory Bailey, owner and founder of the adorable etsy shop Ellucy Stitches, to discuss her booming success, how she got started, and her tips for anyone looking to start their own business. Ellucy Stitches is a one stop shop for anyone who loves embroidery -- purchase a handmade hoop, a kit to create a hoop on your own, or even just a pattern!


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PI: We absolutely adore your work! Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your shop?

MB: I am so flattered! I am 26 years old and I live in Richmond, Virginia with my boyfriend and our two cats, Ellie and Lucy. (Get it? Ellucy Stitches?) By day I am an office manager for a local electrical testing company (most boring job ever). In March of 2017 I opened my Etsy shop, Ellucy Stitches. I make and sell modern and colorful hand embroidery pieces, patterns and kits!

PI: How did you get started with embroidery?

MB: I actually bought a pattern in January of 2017, ran to the local craft store to gather supplies and got to work! After a few minutes I was hooked! I am completely self-taught and there are things that I am still learning. I fell in love with the entire process. Creating something from my brain onto paper and then onto fabric just stuck! I absolutely love the process of stitching. It gives me an opportunity to bring my ideas to life.

PI: Where do you find inspiration for your patterns? We love how youthful and fun they are!

MB: I have a running list of ideas on my phone. Whenever something comes to me I make sure to take note of it. Sometimes I’ll see a certain color palette and a design will take off from there! I try to stay original and make things a bit different than what I’ve seen. It’s pretty funny because if you met me, I tend to wear very neutral colors and my embroidery is much brighter and more colorful than my own personal clothing style.

PI: What’s your favorite item in your shop?

MB: I would have to say my kits. I put in so much time and attention to those. I tried to create something that I would have loved when I was just starting out. Something simple and easy to follow, but also beautiful. I am constantly trying to find the best quality products I can for my kits. I also absolutely adore seeing my customers progress pictures and helping them along the way!

 

PI: Do you like to embroider other items in addition to your home decor pieces?

MB: I haven’t started to do that quite yet, but I have been toying with the idea of embroidering t-shirts and pillows. I would love to add a little pop of color.

PI: Are there any new, exciting things we should be keeping an eye out for?

MB: I am currently working on making some new and interesting floral hoops. My goal is to make something I haven't really shown my customers yet, something different. I am also toying with the idea of small custom table numbers for weddings. I just want to grow my brand and make it as DIY friendly as possible. I try to offer a pattern of most hoops I make, so I'll keep adding those as well!

PI: What tips do you have for someone looking to start their own business?

MB: JUST DO IT! I was nervous starting mine, but I have learned SO much along the way. I’d definitely say that there is NO such thing as being too organized. Save receipts, keep a notebook, keep lists on your phone- just do anything that helps you remember all the little pieces that come up throughout any given day. Never be afraid to say that you’re overwhelmed. I am one person running my shop, so most evenings after work I am stitching or putting kits together and taking things to the post office. There are times where I just simply cannot keep up. When this happens, I put some items on vacation until I can catch up. It’s completely okay to work at whatever pace YOU need. Remember that we are all learning as we go and that it’s okay to ask questions!


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Aren’t you in love?! Head over to Instagram for a giveaway of one of her beautiful embroidery hoops! You can find Mallory on Instagram at @ellucystitches and at her Etsy shop, Ellucy Stitches.

Want your company to be featured on Parsimony? Email us at editorial@parsimonyvintage.com for more information!

DIY Brush Pad and Soap Cleaner

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Before we begin to embrace the colorful leaves falling, pumpkin spice everything, and curling up in your favorite sweater, we unfortunately have to let go of summer. A good way to start off the new season is with some clean brushes! This is our secret tip on how to clean your makeup brushes quick and without having to purchase expensive soap or a brush pad.


image source: five two beauty

image source: five two beauty

A DIY brush pad is so simple, all you need is a flat and plastic surface and some hot glue. You can use a clean lid to a container, a plastic plate, plastic cutting board, or even a plastic clip board! Once you have the item of your choice ready you can use the hot glue to create different patterns across the plate. We recommend doing some various sized dots, chevrons, straight lines, and a grid pattern. Once the glue is dry it's all good to use!


image source: makeup tutorials

image source: makeup tutorials

Now that you have your own DIY makeup brush pad, why not make some DIY brush soap too? All you need to do is pour two parts antibacterial dish soap with one part extra-virgin olive oil into a small glass/plastic dish. Next, you simply dampen your brush with lukewarm water, dip it into the soap, and swirl it around on the various patterns on your pad. Once the brush is clean you can gently rinse the excess soap out with lukewarm water and place the brushes slanted with the bristles down on a paper towel to dry. And voila! Your brushes are clean and ready for whatever makeup look you’re ready to tackle next!

Peach Streussel Muffins

Baking with fresh summer fruits is the easiest way to elevate your homemade desserts. These delightfully fresh peach streusel muffins are the perfect summer breakfast, snack, or dessert, and are guaranteed to impress your family and friends.


Yields: 12 muffins    Time: approx. 55 min total

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temp

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 ¾ cups AP flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp. allspice

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 3 tbsp. milk (any kind)

  • 1 ½ cups peeled, chopped peached (about 3 peaches) OR frozen, not thawed, chopped peaches

Image Credit:  Sally's Baking Addiction
 
Image Credit:  Sally's Baking Addiction
 
 
 

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 2/3 cup AP flour

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.

  2. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter, then slowly stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.

  3. Make the muffins: In a stand mixer, with fixed paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (~1 min). Add both sugars and beat on high until creamed (~2 min), scraping the sides as needed. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until incorporated.

  4. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients until no streaks remain. Add in the milk and mix until incorporated.

  5. Hand-fold peaches into batter with a rubber spatula.

  6. Fill the muffin pan with the batter to the top. Press a handful of crumble to cover the top of each muffin. Crumble some between your fingers for extra chunks of crunchy goodness!

  7. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce heat to 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack while making the glaze.

  8. Making the glaze: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

  9. Gently pop out muffins and place on a wire rack with paper towels below to catch extra glaze. Using a spoon or small pastry bag, drizzle glaze over warm muffins and enjoy!

  10. Make ahead tip: Muffins will stay moist and fresh in a sealed container on the counter for 3 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5. Muffins can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator before eating!


Pro Tips

  • To easily peel slightly over-ripe peaches score the bottom of the peaches with an “X” and place in boiling water for 20-50 seconds until the skin begins to peel away from the score. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place directly into an ice bath until cool enough to touch. The skin should peel right off! (If using under-ripe peaches a vegetable peeler works perfectly!)

  • You can use a plastic sandwich bag as a makeshift pastry bag! Just cut a very small hole in one corner and fill the bag with the glaze. It makes for a more precise drizzle than a spoon.


 

DIY Facials & Scrubs

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IMAGE SOURCE: THE FREE SPIRITED

IMAGE SOURCE: THE FREE SPIRITED

Need a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to exfoliate your dry skin to get a new glow? There are so many face scrubs that are easy to mix together using common household ingredients! These scrubs are a great way to give your skin a fresh start all while saving money in your wallet!

IMAGE SOURCE: MORE

IMAGE SOURCE: MORE

1 tsp granulated sugar
1-2 drops water
1-2 drops orange, lemon, lavender oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Gently rub the scrub onto your clean face. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a towel.

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and gently rub into skin. Rinse clean with warm water.

IMAGE SOURCE: HOMEMADE FOR ELLE

IMAGE SOURCE: HOMEMADE FOR ELLE

½ fresh lemon
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

Combine lemon and olive oil in a bowl. Whisk in the honey, then gradually add in the sugar. Apply to face in gentle, circular motions. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with warm water.

¼ cup uncooked oats
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup olive oil

In a food processor, pulse oats until they are broken down but not powdered. Transfer oats to a small bowl and add in honey and olive oil. Add a thick layer of the scrub to your clean face and massage for 60 seconds, then continue to leave on skin for an extra 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.