There are so many things that I love about this concept. First of all it is a homeschoolers or DIY’ers dream come true. I also think these boxes make a fantastic gift. Let’s be real, how many times have you gone to make something only to have to run out to the store to pick up “one more thing.” I know I’m not alone here! Eliminate the hassle and squash any feelings of inadequacy when it comes to DIYing. Not only does this box come with everything you need to get your DIY on but it includes organic and natural ingredients to boot.
Homegrown Collective sent me this months box to try and the first thing I noticed was that the projects are seasonally curated. I got to make my own bug spray, bug bite salve and lotion bars. It was so timely, I could make them and use them right away. Even more exciting because I’ve never made any of these items before. I am not new to DIYing. I’ve experimented with things like a tallow balm/beet root blush and an organic bees wax candle but I gotta be honest, it was nice having someone hold my hand through the process.
I can’t speak for past boxes but this one took about 30 mins top to bottom to make and assemble all projects. I am an instant gratification junkie and this box did not disappoint. Not only does the box come with everything you need but I especially love controlling the amount of each ingredient and customizing with different essential oils. For example, the bite salve called from vegetable glycerin but I decided to sub it out for more coconut oil. Or the bug spray called for 10-20 drops “or more” of essential oil (EO) of your choice. Two EOs were included to choose from but you could use your own as well – same goes for the herbs.
Information sheets are included to guide you step by step through each project plus explain a little bit about why homemade is better, what the active ingredients are and what ingredients you are avoiding by making your own. They are clear, concise and easy to follow – plus they are super cute.
There was a generous about of each ingredient and I definitely had enough to make every item. And with the addition of some distilled water, I had enough leftover to make a second bug spray and some more bug bite salve. With the exception of the EOs, Aloe Vera and soy, all items were packaged in plastic. The rest were in glass or a bag. All of these ingredients are natural with the coconut oil, rosemary, EOs and Aloe Vera also being organic. The soy was not organic.
The Finished Products
Lotion Bars: These were super fun to make and they actually work! Homegrown included 5 little foil trays to mold the bars which are a good size (these were used with the circle bars shown) but I also mixed it up using some bug molds. My son loves doing his own lotion and I thought this would be fun. After pouring they were ready to use in less than an hour. This lotion goes on thick but I kind of like that for my son who has eczema. I am keeping these in the fridge so they stay firm. Also because the recipe Homegrown included does not call for water these should stay good for A WHILE – no preservative needed.
Bug Spray: I am excited to try this bug spray. I have yet to find a natural one that actually keeps the bugs away. In my neck of the woods I am most concerned about misquotes, ticks and horseflies which are a devil at the beach. A few inconsistencies with the bug spray directions. They referenced filling an amber spray bottle but a plastic one was included which was kind of a bummer – the less plastic the better. Also I’ve read about EOs breaking down plastics so that was a concern for me. Also the recipe called for distilled water which was not included. (Thankfully my husband had some on hand for his humidor stash). Lastly the recipe called for 10-20 drops of desired EO and included a choice of sweet orange or eucalyptus/citronella – considering citronella is charged with repelling bugs it would have been nice to include that info in the instructions to help customers make an informed decision. Now mine came out super strong because I actually poured the entire vile of eucalyptus/citronella EO into my mix – haha! I’m like, if this one does not work then nothing will!
A few other things that would have been nice to include is a boiling/steaming time for the rosemary and also a longevity date for the finished product. Again, nothing that is going to ruin the outcome but it would have been helpful to know.
Bug Bite Paste: Love a natural remedy for bug bites. A big step up from the days of toxic Calamine lotion. I didn’t end up getting a paste consistency but I did fiddle with the ingredients leaving out glycerin and adding coconut oil. It would only be a matter of adding more salt and less water until paste consistency was formed. These instructions lacked exact measurements and a designated mixing container. There was also an inconsistency in the instructions. The paste called for coconut oil but the actual instructions had no mention of coconut oil. Again a minor oversight that was easy to work around. Basically you just mix all of the ingredients until you get a paste – it’s not difficult to figure out.
Key ingredients here included salt and alcohol so for fear of ensuing scream-fest 2016, there is no way I am trying this on my toddlers but I will give it a go on myself especially if it truly provides relief.
The Homegrown Collective box sells for 34.00-48.00/month depending on how many months you commit to. Some of their past boxes include projects ranging from soap making and home brewed hard cider to making a Native American flu remedy or a fizzing sea salt bath soak. You can check them out here.
The box they are currently shipping includes: A lavender & chamomile infused massage oil, a DIY cayenne “Tiger Balm” and a “Create your own” massage oil – how fun!
If you’ve had one too many Pinterest fails or you want to boost your confidnece with homemade projects, this box is for you. And if you have kids, this is a fantastic science project with real world application. It is educational, builds confidence and most of all it’s fun! Homegrown takes America out of big box ballyhoo and puts them back into the kitchen. My kind of mission.
And I got your back with a coupon code!
ORGANIC25 will get you:
- 25% off a month-to-month subscription
- 25% off a 3 month subscription
- 25.00 off the 6 month and 12 month options
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