Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Handcrafted gifts-- Part 1

I was reading Martha Stewart Living and in the December issue, she had some recipes for homemade bath stuff, like a salt scrub and those fizzy things you drop in the tub, all using essential oils to make them smell yummy. So that was the jumping off point, which of course got my wheels turning... and then some idiot decided it was a good idea to let me loose in Michael's with a credit card (oh wait, that was me!)....

Anyway, a very smelly kitchen and too much money later, you've got the baskets you see below. The other stuff I added? Molded soaps, obviously. They were pretty easy. Michael's sells huge bars of shea butter soap. You just add scent and coloring. I used a couple drops of food coloring. A couple drops was plenty and I tested on my own skin, it's so diluted it won't dye you funky colors.

I also made scented lotion. The inspiration for that was me. Basically, I love all those smelly lotions, but my skin gets so dry in winter that that fru fru smelly stuff isn't strong enough to quench it. So instead, I bought some heavy duty lotion (palmer's shea butter formula, in this case), and smellied it up myself. Just make sure you pick one that doesn't already have a strong scent of it's own or they'll just end up competing with each other.

I even printed up fancy labels for everything. I apparently did such a good job that BF's sister was insistent that these came from a store. The labels, I should note, were made possible by the fact that BF has tons of fun desktop publishing software thanks to his job. I used Adobe Illustrator but I'm sure there are several that would work.

Also, Michael's had a seriously kick ass sale on baskets before the holidays. I think the ones in the picture were knocked down to $2.50 each.

A couple ingredient notes: The essential oils can sometimes be found in Michael's near the soap making supplies, but the variety is limited. A store like Whole Foods has a better selection in their cosmetics aisle.
The bath fizzies call for citric acid, which is sorta necessary, since it's what makes them fizz. It's a little hard to find. You can order it online, but if you're a last minute type like me, you'll have to find a store that sells it. Stores that sell wine supplies will have it, since it's used as a preservative in wine, but there isn't one of those on every corner (but what a world it would be if there was!). Some pharmacies sell it because it's considered a health supplement. I didn't have any luck at CVS, but I have a friend who works at a small, independently-owned pharmacy. They didn't have it in stock, but I asked him about it on Friday night and was able to pick it up from the store on Monday!

Anyway, Here's a couple pics of the baskets. I made two different scents so it wouldn't look like I was giving BF's two sisters the same gift with absolutely no thought put into it...

P.S.- I'm absolutely clueless about posting photos on here. I have no idea why they look the way they do...

1 comment:

  1. I found yor blog on Stitch-n-stitchers on Ravelry. I started a group on ravelry you maybe interested in. I will send you an invite.