It’s getting close! 10 days to go until Christmas is upon us. It seems so near but there is still plenty of time to rustle up a few handmade gifts for the special people in your life.
Anyone who loves to relax, unwind and take a long soak in the bath will love a homemade scented candle. These are a great gift for guys too, peppermint seems to be a male scent favourite or if they have a love for sweets (like Mat) then vanilla goes down well. Don’t be fooled, men love candlelit baths too! But maybe pass on the glitter…
Those who love to pamper will be grateful for some body nourishing treats. Make rich sugar scrubs that smell good enough to eat or try these fun gifts below, easy natural soaps, bath salts and salt foot scrub.
So simple yet so personal and effective. Make it extra special by wrapping in pretty ribbons and tissue paper, or, if you’re brave enough, I use toilet roll tubes to make little gift boxes!
All you need is a natural, animal free soap base which can be found online or in many craft stores, essential oil and any add in’s like dried flowers, seeds or oats. Use various things to mould like mini Tupperware boxes, mini loaf tins or even ice cube trays!
You can pick up proper designed moulds quite inexpensively too. Just be sure your mould isn’t a thin plastic that will melt from the hot soap.
Simply cut your soap into cubes and melt gently in a pan on a low heat or in the microwave. Try not to stir it too much or you will get a build up of froth which is hard to get rid of. Once melted add in a few drops of essential oil (about 6 drops per 100g/30 drops per pound but this will depend on the scent, strength and quality of the oil used so add gradually and use your judgement) and gently stir. Slowly pour into moulds and leave to set at room temperature before easing out and wrapping. To add dried flowers and other exfoliating products, I find it best to pour a little soap in the mould, add the add ins then add more soap and repeat. This ensures an even distribution.
Be adventurous with flavour combinations, mine included lavender, oat and almond, lavender and jasmine, grapefruit, wild fig, hazelnut and elderflower.
These luxurious bath salts can be mixed up in a matter of minutes yet offer a luxurious bath soak experience. I use screw top spice jars which are the perfect size and paint old jar lids to make them more exciting. You could make an extra special gift by giving a selection of three jars in different scents in a gift box or add to a hamper full of goodies!
All you need to make 2 1/2 cups/625ml worth is 2 cups (500ml) sea salt (or rock or table salt), 1/2 cup (125ml) bicarbonate of soda, 15 drops essential oil, add in’s like dried flowers, edible glitter (this dissolves easier than standard glitter) and citrus zest and glass or plastic jars.
Simply mix together the salts and bicarbonate of soda then blend in the essential oil followed by any add ins. Divide between jars and label. I made Grapefruit and Orange salts with grapefruit essential oil and orange zest; Lavender with lavender essential oil, purple edible glitter and dried lavender flowers; Wild Fig and Ylang Ylang with Wild Fig and Ylang Ylang essential oils and purple edible glitter.
Download my free printable labels for the Grapefruit and Orange and Wild Fig and Ylang Ylang bath salts here
Lavender bath salt labels available via lia griffith
Salt Foot Scrub
This is a gift which will be especially appreciated by your Christmas host (yes, make some for yourself if you are the host!) who can have a soothing foot scrub after a long day on their feet in the kitchen. Of course, anyone who likes to keep their feet soft and polished will love this refreshing and awakening scrub, especially those who work long hours on their feet.
All you need to make 2 cups/500ml is 2 cups (500ml) salt (sea salt is best but any will do), 6 tbsp almond oil (or coconut, olive or other vegetable oil), 15 drops peppermint essential oil and optional 3 drops natural plant based green colouring.
Simply mix the salt and oil until all the grains are coated then work in the essential oil until combined followed by the colouring if using. Place in glass or plastic jars and label.
Foot scrub label image created based on an image from DIY Confessions