A few nights ago, I stood in the kitchen, after taking turns with Jonathan tucking our babes into bed, with a newfound energy and unexpected vigor having it been so late. Musical beds has been a theme over here this week, if you have little ones, you get it. After pouring myself a nice cup of tea and turning on some holiday tunes, I found I had a bit of determination to make some holiday gifts with my oils. I’ve always loved a good homemade gift over something bought from a store, and I tend to think most people feel this way too, because deep down we all can agree little intention goes a long, long way these days. A homemade gift says, “Hey, I carved out some time for you, and I made this.” Because I wholeheartedly believe in this heartfelt sentiment, I love to hand out homemade goodies for Christmas. Almost everyone we are gifting to will get something DIY from the Ard family, whether it be a salt dough ornament, a hand-rolled beeswax candle, or an oily treat.
The best part of making oil-based gifts, aside from the fact that I get so much joy from concocting remedies from healthful, natural products, is that I am able to make them at home without having to go to the store. I just head to my pantry, grab what I need, and soak up solitude with my herbs and oils. Our kitchen is the place I most prefer when I need my mind to wander, when I want to create, so naturally, I gravitate towards this space when making homemade products for my family and friends.
We have Amazon Prime, which I highly recommend so many reasons, so a few times each year I restock our pantry with all the basic things. I also purchase many of my products from Mountain Rose Herbs, and have used their high quality herbs and ingredients confidently for over a decade. For this specific post, you will need the following to make Rosemary Citrus Body Balm, Floral Bath Salt, and Lavender Spruce Linen Spray:
100% pure beeswax pellets (stay away from the big bars, they are too much work)
organic, extra virgin coconut oil (get the kind that is hard when cool, stay away from the liquid for this recipe)
organic vitamin e oil
organic shea butter
100% pure epsom salts
organic, dried lavender flowers (optional, but really lovely)
100% PURE, THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils (we use Young Living Essential Oils, and I cannot say enough about the quality and safety of their products)
It is best to buy organic when able. If you are putting in the effort to make a nice, natural product, it makes sense to ensure you are using quality ingredients every step of the way. Purchasing these items in bulk will both save you money, as well as stock your pantry for future crafting! I do this. I have a special cupboard and shelf, where I keep everything stocked, so when I am feeling inspired or simply need a natural remedy, I have but to reach for the ingredients. Remember to check your expiration dates on your nut and seed oils, as many of them have a shelf life. Some items' shelf lives may be extended by storing them in the refrigerator. I keep several items (especially hydrosols) in a little wine fridge to save space in our kitchen fridge for food.
After making numerous body butters and salves over the past years I have found what I feel to be the best ratio for what I label a balm. You will need a double boiler, or some glassware you don’t mind getting a bit of wax on. The beeswax is integral to most of my oily recipes, and know it will ruin pretty much whatever you mix these ingredients in, so it is best to have a pot (or bowl) dedicated only to crafting. I use a pot of water for boiling and a large glass mixing bowl with a pour spout, that does the trick. Find what works best for you and call it good. Now, for the recipes...
Rosemary Citrus Body Balm (or Butter, if you prefer):
To make this balm, melt together 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, 1/2 cup organic shea butter, 1/4 cup Vitamin E oil, 1/4 cup organic beeswax pellets. Once translucent and melted together, pour this liquid into small glass containers, mason jars also work well. Depending on the size of your jar, add several drops of quality essential oils to your liking. For the small jar I have in the photo above, I used 5 drops of Orange essential oil, five drops of Grapefruit essential oil, and five drops of Rosemary essential oil. So, fifteen drops total for this recipe. The combination of citrus and herb is one of my favorites. I adore pairing citrus with an earthy element when making lotions, balms, and butters because the result is uniquely uplifting, yet grounding.
Floral Bath Salts with Dried Lavender Flowers:
This is the easiest recipe ever, yet it produces a really beautiful and spa quality product, one that is calming for bath time. Pour epsom salts into your preferred container filling it half way. Again, I use small glass jars for this because I always have them on hand. Add ten drops of a floral essential oil of your choice. I used the Young Living Lavender essential oil for this batch. Another favorite to use is the Young Living essential oil blend called Joy. It is a blend of bergamot, ylang ylang, geranium, rose, lemon, coriander, tangerine, roman chamomile, and palmarosa. This oil blend is warm, sweet, and joyful - hence its’ chosen name. After adding your desired amount of essential oil, throw in a few dried lavender flowers. (I purchase mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.) This not only adds an element of beauty to your salt mixture, but who doesn’t love a good soak in a steaming lavender bath? It is so luxurious! After adding your dried flowers and oils, fill your jar the rest of the way with more epsom salt, leaving a little room at the top. Give it a good shake. Done! Tell the person lucky enough to receive this to add a scoop to their bath time routine and enjoy.
Lavender Spruce Linen Spray:
We adore linen sprays in this home. In fact, they have become part of our bedtime routine, and a fun one at that, as am always changing them up according to the season. I do however almost always add Lavender essential oil as the base of my spray because it helps us sleep and is really soothing. For Winter, I prefer adding oils that reflect this season’s nature, such as pine, spruce, and fir. I chose Idaho Blue Spruce essential oil for this blend and it smells ridiculously yummy. To make this linen spray, add a small pinch of fine sea salt to a small amber spray bottle. The essential oil needs something to hug and bind to, thus the salt. Then add ten drops of Lavender essential oil and ten drops of Idaho Blue Spruce essential oil to the bottle, swirl that around so the oil and salt marry. Fill the rest with distilled water and shake. I like purchasing my amber bottles from Amazon, for the curious.
If by chance you are wanting to incorporate essential oils into the rhythm of your daily, send me a message using the chat feature on the blog! I would love to chat more about this with you. Happy crafting, friends, and don’t forget to make a few extra of these for yourself!