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Did you know that yesterday’s bouquets and boutonnieres can be turned into lovely, hand-dyed masterpieces? More homesteaders are discovering the fun and beauty of dyeing their own fabrics, all with Mother Nature’s bounty.

Curl Up and Dye

Dyeing sounds complicated, but it’s super easy and fast with this method. Dye cloth for craft projects and more in just a few hours with minimal fuss.

Materials

Unbleached muslin cloth, at least 2 x 2 feet
Rubber bands or zip ties
Steamer basket
Six cups fresh or dried flower petals

*Note: You’ll have more color with more petals. Try to go for stronger colors like deep red, purple, and yellow over delicate colors like pink. You’ll get more bang for your buck.

Directions

Heat up a pot with your steamer basket over medium heat. Make sure there’s plenty of water! As the steamer heats up, prep your cloth. Smooth out the muslin on a flat surface. Pour the petals liberally over the cloth, ensuring you have an even layer.

Carefully roll up the muslin from one end. Fasten it at least four times with the rubber bands or zip ties.

Once your muslin is rolled up, toss the roll into the steamer. Allow it to steam for at least an hour, adding more water if necessary.

After an hour, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Gently run the roll under cold water.

Remove the rubber bands or zip ties. Take the muslin outside and shake off the petals. Hang the cloth up to dry. You may need to wash the cloth once more to remove caked-on petals. Be sure you use cold water! Hot water will remove the pigment that you’ve worked so hard for!

The Bottom Line

There are endless ways to use beautifully home-dyed muslin cloth. Some people use it to cover kombucha crocks, while others use it for baby blankets. Avoid waste and produce something gorgeous with natural dyeing to decorate your home.

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How to Grow Strong Nails

If your nails have a tendency to peel or break, a few changes in diet and nail care can help them grow strong and healthy. If you frequently immerse your nails in water or bite them, they can weaken and split easily. Implementing a consistent nail-care regimen can help strengthen your fingernails as they grow. Occasional professional manicures supplemented by home upkeep can help you achieve healthy nails.

Step 1

Trim your nails regularly with clean, sharp nail clippers. Dull clippers can cause your nails to tear. Trim your nails straight across, then buff away any rough edges with a micro-smooth emery board. File your nails in one direction rather than running the file back and forth.

Step 2

Take a daily multivitamin high in calcium and vitamin B. If you want to take a special nail-strengthening supplement, look for one containing biotin. If you take nutritional supplements, try adding 2.5 mg of biotin a day to fight weak and splitting nails. If you prefer to get biotin from food, try egg yolks, yeast and wheat bran.

Step 3

Soak your nails weekly in a dish of warm vegetable oil, such as olive or safflower oil. For extra nourishment, add a few drops of vitamin E oil. If you prefer not to soak, give yourself a hand massage with vitamin E lotion. Rub from the palm of your hand to your fingertips to promote circulation to the nails.

Step 4

Wear rubber gloves when cleaning. Hot water, cleansers and abrasives can weaken your nails, keeping them from growing long even if you’re taking supplements and getting regular manicures.

Step 5

Get regular professional manicures to have your nails trimmed and shaped correctly. Your manicurist can apply a strengthening treatment to help reinforce brittle nails. Avoid artificial nails, as the glue can weaken your real ones.


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