This year, my family decided to have a white elephant gift exchange for the adults. I wanted to put together a “pampering” gift set to bring, but my sis- & mom-in-law have both gone uber-organic & all natural with their food, beauty products & household cleaning. So rather than spend hours on the EWG Database trying to find products that get a grade they would approve of (and pay who knows how much, which would limit the number of things I could include in the gift), I decided to just go homemade.
There’s some comfy PJ pants on the bottom, and some of my homemade cocoa mix in the mug… homemade peanut clusters & peppermint bark in the star tin (not really “organic”, but what’s pampering with out a “little” indulgence?) And the other items:
Peppermint body scrub in the small jar, and solid lotion bars in the tall jar.
Peppermint Sugar Scrub:
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil, almond oil, or melted coconut oil (your choice)
Peppermint extract or essential oil (3-4 drops)
Mix the three ingredients until well combined & place into a clean, sterile jar.
Lotion Bars: (makes four 2’'”x2” bars)
2 Tbsp organic beeswax (I got this from our local natural market in the bulk section)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil (I used Lou-Ana because I already had it in my pantry, but you can get organic for a couple bucks more)
2 Tbsp sweet almond oil (also found this at our natural food store)
10 drops Vitamin E (Wal-Mart)
12 drops essential oil (I used vanilla, but pick whatever scent you like. Here’s a good guide for blending scents if you’d like to use multiple oils) – found this at Hobby Lobby in the soap/candle making section, and used a coupon to get it half-price
Decorative ingredients (I used dried lavender sprinkled on top, but I’ve seen some with whole coffee beans that look really pretty) – Optional
Glass jar (something you can dedicate to this project—it will be really tough to clean it out afterward. I used a well-cleaned pickle jar).
Mold (I used a metal mini tart pan; you could also pour them into mini-muffin wrappers)
Add 2-3 inches of water to a small pot that the jar will fit into, and heat water over medium heat. Add all of the ingredients except the essential oil, and stir periodically. The beeswax will take the longest to melt. Don’t let the water boil, you don’t want to scald the mixture.
When the beeswax is fully melted, add the essential oils. You can add more than 12 drops if you want a stronger scent. Test it by dropping a drop of the mixture onto a plate, let it set, and then run your fingers across it & rub into your skin. When you like the scent & feel of it, you can transfer into the molds. Silicone molds can be found at craft stores; I used a metal tart pan that has removable bottom plates, so I could easily pop them out.
(This was the first batch I made—I originally tried making five bars but they didn’t fill the pan well, so I scraped the mix out of two, re-melted, and then poured it into another shell.)
Once the bar starts to harden, you can add the decorative ingredients:
Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to fully set up. Then you can pop them out of the pan!
I shredded some brown packing paper in our paper shredder to help decorate the jar, and then placed the bars inside (with small squares of wax paper between to keep them from sticking together.)
Of course…I had to hold back a couple bars for myself! I love the smell and the feel of the lotion. It dissolves well & just melts into your skin. I definitely want to try a few other scents in the future—maybe even infusing my own essential oils!
And the best part? It was SUPER cheap to make! Organic hard lotion bars can go for $4-5 per bar, for less than 1 oz of product! This cost me a whopping 35 CENTS per bar.