This past Friday was the infamous Black Friday, and while many Americans were out getting trampled for the latest and greatest sale, I was sitting at home working on some of our homemade gifts. I’ve mentioned before that I love handmade holiday gifts and this year is no exception. BUT, where has this year gone?! It seems like just yesterday we were mid-summer with many months left until year-end. It also meant many months until Christmas and lots of time to make plenty of homemade Christmas gifts! Well, now we’re just over a month out from Christmas and I have exactly . . . ZERO gifts ready to go! I really do love giving homemade gifts, but I’m such a procrastinator that I’m usually scrambling to get everything done in time for Christmas. That’s the great thing about my homemade bath salts though. They take just a few moments to prepare and package and they can be given to almost anyone. (Unless that someone hates baths . . . or foot soaks . . . or pampering in general!)
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1 1/4 Cup of Epsom Salts
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (optional)
20-30 Drops Essential Oil (Lavender, Orange, Lemon and Frankincense are all good choices)
1/8-1/ Cup Dried Lavender Flowers (optional)
You will also need a blender, some measuring cups, a small glass mixing bowl and a spoon.
Preparing your Homemade Bath Salts
- Combine Epsom salts, baking soda and old-fashioned oats in your blender.
- Blend until oats are lightly chopped. (If you are omitting the oats you can just mix the Epsom salts and baking soda by hand.)
- Pour this mixture into your glass mixing bowl.
- Add your essential oil, once you get up to 15 drops do a sniff test before adding any more. You can always add more scent but you can’t take it away. Essential oil scents vary per brand, with high quality oils you will need much less than with a lower quality brand. (As a side note, please, please when buying your essential oils, avoid the discount oils you can buy at the big box stores – these are extremely low quality oils and are filled with synthetic fragrances and all sorts of other nasty stuff.)
- After you’ve thoroughly mixed in your essential oil(s), add the dried lavender flowers.
That’s it! Now you just need to package it up. How you decide to package is completely up to you. Some people like using four-ounce mason jars or other small jars from the dollar store. But because I’m frugal, I decorated and used a few baby food jars I had on hand. If you don’t have any baby food jars, you can always check your local Facebook groups. Or ask family and friends to save some for you.
4-5 4 ounce baby food jars and lids
Ribbon (I used curling ribbon but any narrow ribbon will work)
Tissue Paper (I ALWAYS have tissue paper on hand – it’s one of several items I save and reuse)
Spray Paint or Acrylic Paint (to use for decorating the baby food jar lids)
The easiest (and quickest) way to spruce up your bath salt jars is to cover the lids with tissue paper and wrap with a pretty ribbon.
If you prefer the painted look though, make sure you give yourself an extra day to let the paint completely dry. I spray painted a couple of the lids. On one I used a hammered copper spray paint and on the other a glossy red spray paint. If you plan on painting the jar lids, make sure you sand the surface first so the paint adheres to the lid better. Unless you’ve completely sanded the surface of the lid, it will take several coats in order to cover any residual paint and writing. Once the lids are dry, seal up your jars and wrap with the ribbon of your choice.
These easy homemade bath salts aren’t just for the Holidays though. Add them to a Mother’s Day gift basket, hand them out as baby shower favors, put them in a get well baskets or give them just because!
Are you making any gifts this holiday? What are some of your favorite homemade gifts you’ve ever made or received?