Home Spa – DIY Style

Because I enjoy seeing just exactly how close I can come to giving myself an anxiety attack, I waited one week until Christmas to make my gifts for everyone. And in my brilliance, I decided to make not just one, but FOUR gifts per person for a home spa kit. …my friends better love me.

In my frenzy, I turned the kitchen in to what resembled an apothecary of sorts run by none other than the Tasmanian Devil – you know, the cartoon character that spins around and turns everything in to shambles and disarray. My very patient roommates did their best to turn a blind eye to the  disaster area that used to be the kitchen until I was finished. Not an easy thing to do.

With the exception of maybe one or two ingredients, everything I used to make my products was natural and organic. And I made them barefoot. With bell bottoms, flowers in my hair, and ‘groovy’ on the tip of my tongue the entire time. Jk. Mostly…

In each spa kit, I included: homemade lip balm, whipped body butter, bath salts, and a sugar scrub.

Peppermint/Rosemary Lip Dressing: For the lip balm, I used the same recipe and procedure as my Lip Dressing that I have made previously. For whatever reason, this batch turned out much better than the first. It yielded 38 tubes of chapstick, which means plenty left over for yours truly. Or you, if you’d like.

Orange Dreamsicle Sugar Scrub: Next, I made the sugar scrub. I found my inspiration for the scrub here. I liked that it had limited ingredients and was very easy to make….if you follow the directions right. Unlike I did. It essentially takes only two ingredients: sugar and almond oil. Pretty straightforward. About two cups of sugar to 1/4-1/3 cup of almond oil. Unless you misread the instructions and haphazardly use 1 1/3 cups of almond oil. Then it takes a WHOLE lotta sugar to make up the consistency. You want the mixture to be soft but not too oily. -I have never before used a sugar scrub and was constantly asking my roommates if my mixture looked or seemed right-

Sugar scrub ingredientsCombining almond oil with sugarSugar and almond oil mixture

If you want to stop there, you can! I can’t ever make anything easy, so I decided to add essential oils for scent and color for effect. I went with orange for the scent, because I figured it would be different and fun. I then divided the sugar into two bowls, one of which I dyed orange.

Plain and orange sugar scrub Orange Sugar Scrub

In small containers, I layered the colors. I gently padded down each layer with the bottom of a shot glass, because I’m innovative. The final product turned out a little something like this:

Orange Dreamsicle Sugar Scrub

Whipped Body Butter: The body butter was probably the most ‘labor-intensive’ process out of everything. That being said, it still wasn’t that hard. And I asked all of my giftees what scent they would like so that I could customize it for them. I found the original recipe for it here. I made a few small adjustments, but followed it for the most part. You essentially need 2 cups total of grease/oil, but I doubled the recipe. I used what I had: 2 cups shea butter, 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup almond oil. I added the essential oils after for scent depending on what people wanted. I did not color/dye any of the lotion, but that is an option as well (just be cautious of staining skin….or don’t if that’s what you’re going after).

Shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil

Using a double boiler – or one you make yourself from a pot and a glass bowl, melt all the ingredients together, stirring constantly. Let it cool for a few minutes on the counter and then put in the refrigerator until it’s firm, but not solid. Mine took about 2.5 hours to cool.

Butter and oil on double burnerMelted butter and oils

Using a hand mixer, whip the body butter at a high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fluffy. Add your essential oils for scent. Or, if you’re making several different scents, divide into separate containers and whip personalized oils in.

Whipping the Body ButterWhipping the Body ButterWhipped Body Butter

Spoon body butter into containers without packing down or spreading out. This keeps the ‘whipped’ illusion.

Whipped Body Butter

I kept one for myself, and let me tell you, it feels absolutely AMAZING. It’s a little heavy, so I put it on right before bed. The body butter is extremely nourishing and makes my skin very soft. I will definitely be making this bad boy again.

Aromatic Bath Salts: This was by far the easiest thing to make. I found several ‘recipes’ online, but ultimately went with my own. I combined 3 parts Epsom salt with 2 parts sea salt and 1 part baking soda. The baking soda is a skin softener. I added essential oils for scent – lavender and tea tree oil. Put everything into a big mixing bowl, and, well, mix! Like magic, you have aromatic bath salts. So easy, and people are SUPER impressed.

Aromatic Bath SaltsAromatic Bath Salts

 

If you have the time, you can make labels for everything. I was pretty pressed, so I simply included a note with the gift explaining what each jar contained. The entire gift-making process was more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and everything turned out better than I thought it would. There were a few hiccups along the way, but with me that’s pretty inevitable.

Home Spa Kit

Last year, I crocheted everyone infinity scarves. This year, home spa kits.

Next year….gift certificates. 😉

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‘Tis The Season (Of Gifting)

I LOVE giving people gifts. I’ve always prided myself as a pretty creative gifter. Maybe that’s because I pay attention to people more than most others do….well that sounds a little creepy.

Last year, I crocheted 7 infinity scarves for my close friends and family, each tailored with their favorite color. This allowed me to watch horribly-entertaining shows on Netflix for hours on end. And I wanted to set fire to all of my yarn only a few times! Success. (Minus the fact that one of my good friends turned out to be allergic to the baby alpaca yarn I made her scarf with and ended up with a lovely red rash around her neck…sorry, Laura) To make all of these, I started back in October.

This year, 4 days until Christmas, and I haven’t even started my gift-making-extravaganza yet.

I’m so screwed. :/

For the next few days, I will be feverishly working on gift baskets, which will include homemade chapstick, whipped body butter, relaxing bath salts and invigorating sugar scrubs.

I have very few of the ingredients I need for all of this, so additionally I will have to brave the psycho-crazy-last-minute shoppers. And I will be one of them.

There are a few gifts that I have completed so far, however.

This year, I decided to let the gift keep on giving even after Christmas: potted paperwhite lilies that will bloom (hopefully) sometime in January.

It was very easy to do, and fairly cheap for as many as I made. All you need are paperwhite lily bulbs, potting soil and a flower pot really. If you want to fancy-it-up you can wrap the pots with ribbon, or even decorate them. You can also top the potting soil with decorative shells or beads of different colors.

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I put 3 bulbs to a flower pot. You can do less, or more if the pots are bigger. I wrapped the flower pots with ribbon and included some fun shells and beads on top of the soil. Instead of decorating the pots, I’m going to write the names of the people I’m giving them to on the pot with chalk. The chalk will eventually come off, or can be washed off, and they can reuse the pot for flowers in the summer if they wish.

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The lilies need watered about every 3 days. Unfortunately, they will only bloom once. (Which is actually fine with me. I’m surprised I haven’t killed all of them off already.)

Although I thought this was a fun idea, one remark I got was: ‘You made a gift for someone to finish doing all the work on…’ Ya, well, I figured they needed a new hobby as well. I’m thoughtful like that dammit.

Another gift idea I had involves booze. ….no one is shocked….

One of my roommates is really in to beer. She loves everything about it, especially trying new ones. So, in a bout of cleverness, I decided to give her the 12 Beers of Christmas.

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I bought 12 different singles and wrapped each of them with white paper, writing the number order in which to drink the beers. One a day for 12 days, with the last one to be opened Christmas Eve. Each one I bought was a special seasonal, and no two were from the same brewery, including the bomber I bought for Day 12. I finished off each one with a festive ribbon, which I successfully curled without ruining it. And then I wrote a poem to accompany them.

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Go me.

As for the rest of my brilliant Christmas gift ideas….well, they may turn out to be New Year gifts instead. What better way to ring in the New Year than with a present?! Maybe that was my plan all along.