Easy Gift Idea

18 Dec

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).

Happy giving!

P.S. This makes a great gift for year-round giving, too!


13 responses to “Easy Gift Idea

  1. Heather~Domestic Extraordinaire

    December 18, 2009 at 6:15 am

    love it, these have made my list of things to make. Because as always I have waited until last minute to get anything done.

  2. Andrea

    December 18, 2009 at 8:49 am

    That looks wonderful, and so easy to make! I’ll see if I can swing it… even easy stuff takes me forever!

  3. PrincessJenn

    December 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Oh I love this idea. Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Heather

    December 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I love this idea…

    I might try it after I get over the fact that you blogged. I could be having heart palpitations…

    🙂 mwah!

  5. Rana

    November 17, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Love this idea. I’m making a goody bag for my sister who moved away. I can’t wait to try this.

  6. Brittany

    December 5, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Came over from Life…Your Way….

    And I’m super excited I did…these would be good to have on hand all year…I tend to forget those birthdays or other special events *requiring* a gift.

  7. teres

    December 7, 2010 at 8:35 am

    if you mix epsom salts with sea salts you get a nice texture with the mix of salts and they look really pretty – just a tip. :o)

    i have always made my own bath salts – so easy, so relaxing, so great to get the kids involved and you can make a lot in a short amount of time. even the dollar stores carry big bags of epsom and sea salts now making it even more economical. i put mine in doubled up cellophane bags, throw in a little scoop from the restaurant supply store and tie with a long ribbon and leave the tails to trail. i always have a few extra bags on hand for those little occasions that come up or that i forget or just because someone i know might be in need of a good long bath! love! great post! :o)

    winnipeg, manitoba canada

  8. Rebecca

    August 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Where do you get your oils? And how many drops for the size container shown in this picture?

  9. PsychMamma

    August 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Rebecca –

    I get all my essential oils at our local co-op/natural foods store. If you don’t have something like that available, I’m sure you can find them online. For the container pictured here, I used 4-6 drops. It all depends on how strong you want the smell. You can judge by how it smells as you do it, but keep in mind that it might become a little stronger as it absorbs into all the salts and is contained with a lid.

    Good luck!

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  11. Karen Taggart

    October 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Have you seen the scented Mineral salts (lavender) and will those work?
    Seems it would be easier and already scented and colored. Thanks Karen

  12. PsychMamma

    October 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Karen –

    I haven’t seen them, but, YES! They would work. It would definitely be easier. I, personally don’t care for the scent of lavender (weird – I know) and prefer to stay away from artificial colors, but really, the sky’s the limit with how you could do this or personalize it! Have fun and happy gifting!


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