Preparing for the holidays can be fun, but it can also get exhausting as you start to see all the cooking, decorating and gifting you have to do. An easy way to feel festive: homemade creations. Going this route not only saves you money, but also allows for a more personalized touch. Homemade gifts have the added bonus of being made with simple, all-natural ingredients… like essential oils!
Here are a few recipes to help get everyone in the holiday spirit.
Cinnamon Coffee Soap Bars
- 51 oz. Olive Oil
- 6.15 oz. Lye
- 12.35 g. (.44 oz.) Water
- 1-5 Tbsp. Ground Coffee
- 20 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
In a well-ventilated area, add the lye to the water in a sturdy, heat-resistant plastic or stainless steel tub. Allow the mixture to cool for half an hour. (Note: Be very careful with this step! Never add water to the lye, as it can cause the lye to splatter, erupt, or explode out of the container. Lye in this form is also highly corrosive and can burn your skin, so protect yourself with gloves. Don’t worry about the caustic element to the lye. When fats like olive oil are combined with lye in proper proportions, a chemical reaction called saponification occurs. The end result is soap plus glycerin, which is all-natural and completely safe to use on your skin.) Pour essential oil and coffee grounds into the olive oil and mix for about 30 seconds. Pour the olive oil mixture into the cooled lye mixture and begin stirring. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and forms a “trace” after the stirrer. This can take a pretty long time by hand (about an hour) so swap to a hand blender if you’re short on time. It should take about 5 minutes, sometimes even less. Pour the mixture into a large soap mold. Plastic containers, wood boxes and metal cake tins work great, but line them with baking paper if you plan to use them for food in the future. Leave the soap in a dry place until hardened. After two weeks or more (depending on the size of your block), it will be hard enough to chop into smaller blocks for further curing. (Note: It is recommended that you let the cut soap bars cure about 4 weeks before using them on your skin.)
Gifting tip: Once you have cut your soap into smaller blocks, individually wrap them in paper and tie with a simple piece of ribbon or yarn.
Christmas Wreath Room Spritz
- 8 oz. Spray Bottle
- 3/4 c. Water (tap or distilled)
- 2 Tbsp. Vodka or Rubbing Alcohol
- 20 drops Christmas Wreath Essential Oil Blend (You can also use whatever holiday scented oil you like)
Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well to combine. Use as needed. Store is a cool, dry space. Gifting tip: Create your own colorful labels and give as a DYI Christmas gift!
Here are some other great holiday DIY gifts that I’ve shared over the years: Candy Cane Body Scrub, Tension Easing Bath Salts and Body Spray. Be sure to check back next year to see what special treats Frannie has for you in her stocking!