Christmas is here and holy crap has it come around fast. Every year I tell myself to get all my presents early and every year I wait till the very last minute to get them. When will I learn? So this time round as a result of being time (and money) poor I decided that I would make my presents.
Homemade gifts can seem like a copout but taking the time to make something special can be a much more sentimental and meaningful gift than something shop bought.
Using my knowledge of cosmetics and DIY’s I rustled up four different products including bath bombs, plumping sugar scrub, shower jellies and exfoliating coffee soap to make the perfect presents for my friends and family.
The recipes are all really simple and I’m confident even the worst DIYer could do a good job.
These are great gifts for anyone who’s obsessed with lush. This recipe can be modified to use any kind of scent or essential oil so you can really make it your own. I added lavender flowers and ylang ylang oil for a soothing and subtle effect.
115g baking soda
55g corn starch
55g citric acid
55g Epsom salt
1 Tbsp water
1 Tsp essential oil
1 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (melted)
A drop of food colouring
Sieve together all of your dry ingrediants into a clean dry bowl before stirring together assuring there are no lumps in the mixture. You’ll then want to melt your coconut oil in a microwave save bowl, once completely liquid you can add this to the rest of your wet ingrediants.
Begin to very slowly add your wet ingrediants into the dry, if you hear fizzing that means you are going too fast. Add just enough so that the mix begins to clump and have a breadcrumb like consistency.
Take your mould and drop in your flowers if using then add in your bath bomb powder. Press it down till it fills the mould tightly. Leave to dry in a cold dry place overnight or a minimum or 5 hours before wrapping up.
Plumping Sugar Scrub
Lip scrubs are great for getting rid of dead skin cells and prepping your lips for lipstick. In this recipe I use cinnamon as a natural plumping agent and coconut oil to nourish and moisturise. It only takes a couple of ingredients to make and is super simple to do.
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tsp coconut oil
Dash of cinnamon
Just combine all the ingredients together and place in a small container with a lid. Pop a ribbon on and it’s ready to go.
These shower jellies make the best stocking fillers. They don’t take long to make and the final affect can be quite stunning. By using chamomile flowers I was able to create something that not only looked beautiful, but smelt amazing as well.
5 Tsp powdered gelatine (works just as well with vegetarian substitute)
175ml boiling water
120ml shower gel
1 Tsp salt
Stir together your gelatine and boiling water until the gelatine is completely dissolved, this should only take a few minutes. Add in your essential oils if using then pour in your shower gel. I’ve found that using a mild smelling gel allows you to get more creative as you can experiment with scents and oils.
Add your flowers to the mould before pouring in the hot liquid. Take the time to remove any bubbles from the top as this can effect the final look. Set to one side and leave to completely cool and set. I wrapped mine in grease proof paper and twine before placing in a cool cupboard where they’ll stay till I give them to my friends in a few days.
Exfoliating coffee soap
Coffee is an amazing exfoliant as anyone who has read my previous posts will know. So it makes sense then to use coffee in an exfoliating soap. This smells so amazing and is great for sleepy morning showers.
I use a plain soap base so I don’t have to mess with any lye or chemicals so this is really easy to do.
230g plain soap (I used glycerine soap)
40g coffee grounds
2 Tsp vanilla extract
Create a double boiler by placing a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom as this can ruin your soap. Chop up the soap into smaller pieces then tumble them into the bowl.
Allow it to melt completely before adding in your vanilla and coffee grounds. Stir well until everything is incorporated. Pour into a silicone mould or lined tin and leave to set overnight or for a few hours in the fridge.
I used a loaf tin to shape my soap but you can really use whatever you have to hand. Once it had set I cut my soap loaf into thick bars before wrapping in greaseproof paper and tying with thin ribbon.
*Disclaimer – the coffee in the soap can stain so make sure you use a soap rack during use!
All of these gifts were really fun to make and if you like getting crafty in the kitchen then this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Not only are these presents inexpensive but they’re also effective in helping all sorts of aches, pains and blemishes so there really is something for everyone.
If you give any of these recipes a go let me know how yours turned out in the comments!