I love homemade gifts. There’s nothing that says love and care better than something you create with your own two hands, whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, or just because. I’m always creating something, or 10 things (more likely ;)… whether it’s big home projects or small crafts, though most often it’s for my home, family, or sometimes to sell – and not as often as I’d like for something to give. So when the time comes, I really enjoy making gifts – and I like to keep it pretty simple, too. During the holidays, it’s especially helpful if a project is quick and easy , for you or even the kids to create. This one is great for last minute gifts, too – since you probably already have everything you need to make it.
A lot of people these days have gotten into using natural products for home and health, which is so wonderful. I’ve been learning and teaching these principles for years in my alternative yoga universe, which is what it sometimes seems like – so it’s really nice to see holistic living and natural healing coming (back) into the mainstream. When a friend posted photos on Facebook the other day from making a natural brown sugar scrub for holiday gifts, I *Liked* this, of course – who wouldn’t?! … And it came back to the forefront of my mind when I was spilling my homemade vanilla extract all over the kitchen.
In the meantime…. Mmmmmm! Ahhhhhh! The fragrance of natural vanilla was simply delectable, as I poured and portioned into cute little bottle’s for Mighty O’s holiday teacher gifts – though it seemed like I was getting half of the vanilla all over the kitchen. (I’m not a neat freak, or very OCD. ;) In order to clean up a bit, I grabbed a glass mixing bowl and wiped the excess vanilla into it. That’s when the image of my friend’s brown sugar scrub came back into my mind. I had just bought a truckload of brown sugar for holiday baking… Ah-ha! Waste not, want not, right?!
Thanks, Ingrid, for the inspiration! I now have a new project and another use for my homemade vanilla extract, which by the way, is so, so easy to make. I’ll post how to make that this week, in case you want to get some vanilla love started just in time for Valentine’s Day…
Anyway, Vanilla Brown Sugar scrub coming up – with just a few simple ingredients! I made my own recipe here based on my friend’s, throwing a few things together in the amounts I had on hand. The recipe below makes about 3 1-pint mason jars, so adjust accordingly if you need more (or less).
Vitamin E oil is added for it’s therapeutic properties, though also as a natural preservative. If you don’t have any on hand, don’t worry – just make a smaller batch and use it more quickly. Any natural product, especially when made with organic ingredients, will degrade much faster than commercial brands filled with chemicals and preservatives, so just bear that in mind when deciding how much to make. You can always make more!
Homemade Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub
1 bag brown sugar (dark will give a richer look and scent to your scrub)
1 cup raw or white sugar
1 jar coconut oil, softened or liquified (place in a warm place or preheating oven)
3-4 Tbsp Vitamin E oil
3-4 Tbsp Vanilla Extract or any essential oil blend you prefer (think *warm* scents)
3 pint-size mason jars, or more if using smaller jars
1. Pour the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together by hand with a large spoon. You may want to use two large spoons to better blend and control the mixture. Continue until you have a rich, moist consistency throughout; depending on the dryness of your air, you may need a bit more coconut oil to make it moist, so just add extra as needed.
2. Ladle into jars and cap. Voila! Wrap them up or decorate as you like, and you’re done.
I topped my jars with a square of holiday fabric, cut with pinking shears for cuteness, and tied it up with a jute bow and simple wood ornament. I also made little tags with a list of ingredients so that my recipients would know what’s in it (and what’s not ;).
Of course, I immediately had to market test my product myself (and by this time I needed a good shower, with all the sticky vanilla and grainy sugar I’d been dealing with all day!!). The scrub is very dense from the coconut oil, so I only needed to scoop out a tiny bit from the jar. Once I realized how far this stuff goes, I realized you could even fill jars half the size, and it would still be enough for several showers – bonus! Just be careful to keep water out of the jar – have the cap handy.
This scrub held up really well in the water versus commercial sugar scrubs I’ve tried, which seem to melt instantly the second the water hits – so with this, I could really get a nice scrubbing to exfoliate old, dead skin, and the coconut and vitamin E oils are super moisturizing. This scrub even did wonders on my feet – which as a long-time yogi and now returning dance student after so many years, I certainly appreciate! I spent about twice as long in the shower just to enjoy the fragrance, too… it was like bathing in a coconutty cupcake bakery. Nom!!
I hope those receiving this scrub enjoy it as much as I have been… can’t wait to hear the reviews!
Love and light,