Get Crafty: Handmade Holiday Gifts

Make your own gifts this holiday season with a few inexpensive ingredients and these simple recipes. To help you along, all Veriditas essential oils!

by Alex Fulton and Day Host-Jablonski

Is there a better way to show you care than making a gift by hand? Thoughtful and personal, these items mean far more than any store-bought trinket. Fortunately for those of us feeling the economic pinch in our pocketbooks this holiday season, handmade gifts are also incredibly affordable; a few inexpensive ingredients will go a long way in the following recipes. The best part? These gifts are just as fun to make as they are to give. Now roll up your sleeves and get crafty!

Relaxation Body Oil

4 oz. almond oil

12 drops lavender essential oil

12 drops bergamot essential oil

12 drops cedarwood essential oil

Combine ingredients in a 4-ounce glass bottle and shake. Scent will intensify in a few days.

Warming Herb-Infused Oil

4 oz. almond oil

1/2 oz. dried, crushed ginger root

1/2 oz. dried, crushed orange peel

Place crushed herbs in a 6-ounce glass jar. Pour oil in and stir until herbs are thoroughly saturated. Cap tightly and let steep for 3-6 weeks, shaking daily. Strain oil through cheesecloth, squeezing out any remaining oil. Package in a capped glass bottle and keep away from direct sunlight.

Winter Treat Sugar Scrub

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup almond oil

6 drops peppermint essential oil

6 drops orange essential oil

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Once mixed, put scrub in a wide-mouthed, lidded glass jar.

Day’s Perfect Lip Balm

1 T. cocoa butter

1 T. coconut oil

2 T. beeswax

1/2 T. olive oil

6 drops essential oil of choice

Place ingredients in a small dish and set dish in a pan of hot water. When ingredients have melted together, remove from heat and add essential oil. Pour mixture into lip balm tins or tubes. Allow to cool until solid (15-20 minutes).

Stress Relief Bath Salts

3 cups sea salt

6 drops cedarwood essential oil

6 drops clary sage essential oil

6 drops pine essential oil

6 drops spruce essential oil

6 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Combine ingredients and store in a sealed glass jar.

Sweet & Spicy Herbal Spray

1/2 C. vodka (100+ proof)

3” cinnamon stick

1/4 C. dried orange peel

1/4 C. dried lemon peel

1/4 C. dried ginger root

1 C. distilled water

Crush herbs and place in a clean jar. Cover with vodka, mix well and cap tightly. Store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks, gently shaking every day. Strain vodka through a coffee filter or cheesecloth and discard herbs. Combine remaining liquid with distilled water in an 8-ounce glass bottle and shake well.

Vivid Dream Herbal Eye Pillow

2 pieces 5” x 9” cloth and sewing supplies

1 C. rice

1/2 C. dried lavender flowers

1/4 C. dried peppermint leaves

1/4 C. dried sage leaves

Sew cloth pieces together with right sides facing each other, leaving a 2” opening at one end. Turn bag right side out. Mix rice and herbs together and funnel into cloth bag. Sew opening closed to finish pillow.

Soothing Hand Salve

2 oz. almond oil

1 oz. shea butter

1 oz. beeswax

20 drops geranium essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops orange essential oil

Combine almond oil and shea butter in a tempered glass bowl and place the bowl into a shallow pan of water on the stove. Heat the water until the oils are warm. Add beeswax and heat until melted, stirring regularly to encourage smoothness. When ingredients are liquid, remove from heat and add essential oils. Mix thoroughly. Pour liquid salve into 4-ounce container and let cool until solid.

Oatmeal Lavender Soap

3-oz. bar unscented castille soap (1 C. grated)

2 T. oatmeal

1/2 C. dried lavender flowers

1/4 C. water

Grind lavender and oatmeal using a mortar and pestle or clean coffee grinder. Use a cheese grater to grate castille soap into a bowl. Place bowl in a pan of hot water on the stove and mix in 1/4 cup of water to melt the soap. When the mixture is smooth, add oatmeal and lavender. Pour mixture into greased molds or muffin tin, or roll heaping tablespoons into balls. Let cool completely and air dry for 2 days.

Resources (available at Community Pharmacy)

Earthly Bodies, Heavenly Hair by Dina Falconi

Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles

Herbal Home Spa by Greta Breedlove

Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox

The Aromatherapy Companion by Victoria Edwards

The Soapmaker’s Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch

Alex Fulton edits Infused and has worked at Community Pharmacy since 2001. Day Host-Jablonski is an ingredients nerd who loves turning her kitchen into a laboratory.