The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, and many of us will be opening up our homes to family and friends or going to someone’s house to partake in the festivities. If someone is extending the hand of hospitality to us, what would be an appropriate gift that we could take to thank her for her kindness? In this article, instructions on how to make two do-it-yourself gifts for that special hostess will be provided.
1. Scented Sea Salt Scrub – The first gift is a wonderful scented sea salt scrub that I have made for several friends. This scrub helps to exfoliate your skin and to moisturize it at the same time. It has a lovely aroma and makes you feel soft and smooth after you use it.
To make this sea salt scrub, you will need the following: 1 cup of sea salt, ½ cup of grapeseed oil, 7-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (I like to use the peppermint or lavender oils from Young Living, 1 airtight container (a small Mason jar works well), and 1 chopstick. You also may want to have some ribbon on hand to use to tie around the top of the airtight container for decoration.
Pour the sea salt into the airtight container. Slowly pour the grapeseed oil over the salt and stir with the chopstick to help mix the salt and oil together. Once they are mixed rather thoroughly, add the drops of essential oil. The salt will be slightly covered with the oil, and the essential oil will really provide the salt-oil mixture with a fantastic scent.
Place the lid onto your airtight container, and tie a ribbon into a bow around the lid of the jar to decorate. I also usually attach a little piece of cardstock or index card onto the ribbon with a list of the ingredients in the scrub.
2. Scented Soy Candle – The second gift is a lovely scented soy candle that I have also made for friends and family. Recently, a group of ladies from my church and I made soy candles in seashells for our upcoming Ladies’ Day. Soy wax is wonderful to use, for it is environmentally friendly and has a nice, clean burn to it.
To make a scented soy candle, you will need these items: a 16 oz. package of microwaveable soy wax, 1 small package of medium wick, 1 small container of Tacky Wax, 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (as mentioned above, I prefer Young Living’s line of essential oils), 1 8-10 oz container of your choice (I would select a container that has a wider mouth, so you have an easy time of getting your hand into it to set your wick. Goodwill is a great place to find pretty glasses, cups, and containers for a reasonable price), 1 large, microwave-safe container (I have used glass and plastic containers for heating the wax, and both types worked out nicely), a ruler, and 2 potholders. The microwaveable soy wax, the medium wick, and the Tacky Wax are all available at your local Michael’s store.
Open the package of microwaveable soy max, and pour half of the wax into the microwave safe container. Follow the directions on the package for heating the wax (depending on your microwave’s strength, it should take approximately 2-4 minutes to melt the wax). You will know that the wax is completely melted when you no longer see any white flakes, and you have a nice, golden liquid.
While the wax is heating and melting, take the ruler and measure the height of your container in which you will pour the wax. Open the package of wick and cut off approximately 2″ more wick than what you measured for the container. This extra length will help you to keep the wick steady when you are pouring the melted wax into the desired container. Attach the wick that you have cut to the bottom of the container with Tacky Wax.
When the wax is completely melted, carefully remove it from the microwave with a potholder (the handle on your container will be hot), and place it onto another potholder. Slowly pour the soy wax into the container in which your wick has been set. Fill the container up to ¾ of the way full. Add the drops of essential oil (since it is the holiday time, I would probably recommend using either peppermint or clove for a nice, seasonal smell).
Allow the wax to cool until it hardens. I would recommend from 1-2 hours for safety’s sake. You will know that the wax is cooled when it turns a lovely, creamy white color. Once the wax has cooled, clip the wick to approximately ¼”.
Depending on what type of container that you chose in which to make your candle, you can decorate it accordingly with ribbon, or I have even attached colorful stickers on clear glass containers. The possibilities are endless.
You may also want to attach a sticker on the bottom of your candle container describing proper safety when burning and cooling the candle. A great website for some ideas of the safety tips to include is http://www.onestopcandle.com/candle/canburntips.php.
I hope you enjoy making these gifts as much as I do. Your Thanksgiving hostess will thank you for your thoughtfulness and care.