This year, we decided to try to simplify Christmas as much as possible. We decided to not only work to save money, but also to (hopefully) be a little more “eco-responsible” than we have been in the past. We decided to try to think of ways to give of ourselves and our talents in the form of services or products that can be consumed/used up instead of simply cluttering up space (and eventually landfills). Today, I mixed up a batch of my homemade bath salts and thought I’d share the idea here, because it’s so easy, and always well-received! They’re simply made from Epsom salts and organic essential oils. That’s it! Epsom salts are great for soothing tired, stressed muscles, and you can customize the scents for each individual. My favorite essential oils are grapefruit (refreshing) or vanilla (soothing/calming). You may prefer lavender, rose, tea tree, or many others. One small bottle of essential oil will go a LONG way!
I bought the Bell® jars in the picture above at Meijer as a package of 4 for $5. These were a little fancier than you would have to use, and there are cheaper options in canning or jelly jars available. I try to reuse glass jars and lids whenever possible, and am always on the lookout for unique jars at resale shops, garage sales and Goodwill. Just make sure they have a lid, or some way to close. I found a great bottle with a unique shape at a resale shop with a cork in it that was one of my favorites. Epsom salts are readily available at any pharmacy, and are very cheap.
I love this project for several reasons. First of all, there’s no exact science. Simply fill your container with Epsom salts and add drops of essential oil until you are happy with the scent. Remember that it’s always easier to add more! You can’t really remove the oil once you’ve added it, but you CAN add more salts to tame the smell. I also love it because Jenna can help! She helped scoop the salts, add the drops (Careful with this one – toddlers tend to go a little crazy. Stay close!), and then LOVED shaking and shaking the containers once the lids were firmly screwed on. Finally, I love how pleased people are when they receive their gift. I think you will too.
Today, I bottled four jars like you see pictured above. Total time for the project? Twenty minutes! And that’s with a toddler helping. It could go a little faster even, if you’re doing it without pint-sized helpers, but it’s a great opportunity for them to get to help. What a wonderful way to teach about the spirit of giving (instead of simply the spirit of shopping).
P.S. This makes a great gift for year-round giving, too!