*Another post to enjoy from Katie of Wellness Mama!
It is hard to believe that Christmas is fast-approaching already. If you have other paleo-enthusiasts on your list, or just want your gift to have a positive impact on the person you give it to, handmade gifts can be the best way to go.
After all, what can you get for a paleo enthusiast who doesn’t eat processed foods, works out with minimal equipment, and sometimes even goes barefoot or wears minimal shoes?
Even if those on your list are not Paleo, these healthy homemade gift ideas are sure to surprise!
Luxury Sugar Body Scrub:
So it turns out that while sugar is awful for your insides, it can be great for your skin! Those luxury sea salt and sugar based body scrubs you see in department stores for $40 cost under five to make and leave skin feeling like silk!
For the most part, you can use any sugar or salt as a base and use half as much of a light oil as you use of sugar or salt. In other words, about 1 cup sugar/salt and 1/2 cup oil per batch with whatever essential oils for scent or other ingredients you like.
Some of my favorite combinations are:
Vanilla and Brown Sugar- Mix 1 cup of organic brown sugar with 1/2 cup of almond or olive oil, the gel from a few capsules of vitamin E (or 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil) and 1 tsp natural vanilla extract.
Mint Chocolate- Mix 1 cup of white sugar with 1/2 cup almond or olive oil, 1 tsp of cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil and about ten drops of peppermint essential oil. Can also leave the cocoa powder out for just a mint version.
Lemon Hand Scrub- For the person who does the dishes in your house, mix 1 cup white sugar with 1/2 cup almond oil, 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil, and 1/2 tsp lemon essential oil. Can be stored in a decorative jar by the sink to moisturize hand after doing dishes.
For gifts, I put these in decorative glass jars, tie with a ribbon and print out a label and instructions.
Body Butter Bars:
This is one of my favorite natural products to make. It is a very moisturizing lotion bar that leaves skin soft without the need for lotions. This is similar to the Lush Body Butter Bars, and it is very simple to make! You can customize it to your preference, and all of the ingredients are available here.
In a double boiler (or large glass bowl on top of a small pan of boiling water) mix equal parts cocoa butter, coconut oil and beeswax and heat until all are melted. Let cool slightly and add essential oils or fragrances to your preference. (I add peppermint and lavender) Pour into some type of mold and put in the fridge or freezer until hardened. Silicone cupcake molds work great for this, but you can also use a small cardboard box and just peel off the box when done and then cut into bar sizes.
For gifts, I wrap these in a fabric scrap, tie with some twine and attach instructions. “Use in shower just before getting out to deeply moisturize skin. Do not wash off with soap!”
Fizzy Bath Bomb
These have gotten popular lately, but this version is also soothing to sore muscles! There are other recipes for different variations of this, but this is the most simple I’ve found.
Ingredients: 1 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), 1/2 cup citric acid (available here or at most drugstores), 1/2 cup cocoa butter (available here), 1/2 tsp ginger powder (from the spice aisle), mint or ylang ylang essential oil (here) and witch hazel (drugstores or here.
To Make: Mix the baking soda and citric acid until the two are well incorporated. Add essential oils of choice and ginger powder (this soothes muscles). Put cocoa butter in the freezer for a minute to harden it and then using a fine hand grater or food processor, grate finely. (This has to be done quickly, as it starts to soften at skin temperature). Sprinkle with witch hazel until it just starts to stick together and pack into a small, round mold for a few minutes before popping out and letting dry for at least 2 days in a cool, dry place.
Tip: Use a 2-piece plastic Christmas ornament, a tennis ball cut in half (I used this) or even plastic Easter Eggs as a mold if you don’t happen to have a plastic mold sitting around.
Mint Chocolate Massage Butter
Great gift for your significant other! It is naturally scented, naturally sweet, and very moisturizing! It isn’t sticky on the skin, but it does leave skin looking a little darker due to the cocoa powder.
- 2 T almond oil (or other lightly scented oil)
- 2 T coconut oil
- 3 T Cocoa Butter, grated
- 1 T 70% Cocoa or higher dark chocolate or cocoa powder
- 1 tsp honey
- 5-8 drops peppermint essential oil
How to Make
- Use a microwave or double boiler on low heat to melt all ingredients except essential oil
- Mix ingredients well and add essential oils (orange would be another good choice)
- Store in small glass jar- makes just over 1/2 cup.
This is my favorite gift to give because (a) I love baskets and collect them, so this is a way to keep my husband happy by giving away some of them and (b) they can be perfectly customized to your recipient. Some gift baskets that people on my list will be getting this year are:
Herbal Gift Baskets- Filled with my Herbal Katie teas, spices and soaps. I add a tea strainer, a mug, and sometimes even an electric tea kettle. (There are some great Bulk Discounts right now on these items!)
Healthy Cooking Gift Basket- Filled with things like coconut oil, coconut flour, wooden spoons, Himilayan Pink Salt (available here), gourmet spices, and other healthy kitchen items packed inside a colander or stainless steel bowl.
Natural Beauty Gift Basket- with Lotion bars, soaps, bath fizzies, homemade deodorant, lotion, etc.
Natural Baby Gift Basket- With a small jar of coconut oil for lotion/diaper cream, Homemade baby powder made from arrowroot powder (here), organic cotton onesies and blankets, chamomile tincture and other small baby items.
Men’s Natural Shaving Set- I gave my husband this a few years ago and he absolutely loves it. Some other guys on my list are getting it this year. It includes: Razor and razor heads or an old fashioned straight razor, homemade shaving bar soap, and a mug and brush set. This type of shaving is much gentler for men’s skin and has far fewer chemicals than aerosol versions.
For Your Love: A basket filled with a bottle of wine, wine glasses, candles, massage butter, a favorite movie and maybe a gift card to a favorite store or restaurant.
For the kids: For young kids on your list, a craft supplies basket can be hours of fun. Our are getting them filled with scissors, finger paints, homemade play dough, stickers, glue, construction paper, tape, a hole punch, fun foam, stamps, markers and more.
Do you make homemade gifts or stick to the store version? What is the most creative gift you’ve ever given?