Saturday, December 4, 2010

Handmade Christmas

Every year I come upon this way too late, the desire to make things handmade for Christmas. I love creating for other people, whether it's sewing or crafting or knitting. I really do enjoy choosing things I think each person will like, thinking about these items in their homes, or of them wearing them. (I do realize this is cheesy but I really am thoughtful about it) Ahem.

There are many reasons for making Christmas handmade, including the desire to do something extra special, keeping costs down (thought that isn't always the case with handmade!), the chance and excuse to be creative. I love it for all of those reasons. We have a BIG family so doing handmade is serious business, it can be time consuming and expensive, and so wonderful! As an Artist (did I say that outloud? I was an Art major but hardly consider myself an "artist") there are times in life I feel the overwhelming need to make something, anything! Christmas always brings that about in me. And even though I penciled "start Christmas gifts" somewhere in August or Septmeber, I missed it, next year I'll have to write in in every week......

So I thought I had missed my chance, almost did. It was so on my heart I actually took it to God in prayer, I did. He knows how crazy my life is and how I don't have time to sit and make aprons for every woman like I did 1 year and Table runners and matching towels like I did another year, He knows all that. But He also knows my desire to create. And maybe it's silly, but this is what I'm doing this year......oh and by the way, if you are on my list, here is how to make your refill.....

This year the kids and I are making Sugar and Salt Body Scrubs (not mixed together)! It was extremely easy and plenty of supplies to choose from, I'll show you what we did! I had a lot of ladies on my list this year, we'll get to see both families for the holidays and all my girls here in the islands as well, so this was a way to make something special that could stretch costs.

Your supplies are: 
Oil base ~You can use baby (mineral) oils, cococut, almond, grapeseed, macadamia (without the garlic unless you are married to an italian). You could even use Olive, vegetable, corn, but those have a more distinct smell so I stayed away from those.
Sugar or Salt~ No need to get fancy! Regular sugar and salt will give a softer scrub, raw sugar or rock salt will give a rougher scrub, both work great.
Scent~Pure Essential oils is a necessity. Some drug stores, health stores, GNC even carries them!
Jars~I used canning jars and made my own labels on Publisher and printed them on label paper.

Because I knew I was making about 6~ 8oz jars per scrub, I mixed my ingredients in a bigger bowl first and then scooped into the jars. You could do it per jar though if you are only making a little at a time! My ratios were: 4 cups of salt or sugar to about 1 cup of oil. This doesn't have to be exact!
 The sugar or salt should appear wet, but not necessarily dripping with oil. When that is well mixed, add in your essential oils, at least 15 drops, but go by scent!

Don't forget about letting the little people help, they love to mix! Just no tasting the contents!

I made round labels, tied a bow around each bottle and there you go!

There are so many mixes you can try out, scrubs are awesome on that dry skin for those cold winter months, or those hot sunny ones! 

Our combos this year were:
Lavendar Vanilla Sugar Scrub
Shea Cocoa Sugar Scrub
Tea Tree Salt Scrub
Bergamot Salt Scrub

I hope you give these a try, if not for family for Church friends, employees, peers, teachers or yourself! Enjoy!

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