Hand Made Christmas - Spa Basket

A spa basket will be a great gift for anyone you know who needs a little extra pampering this holiday season. Fill it with some pretty soaps, a nice plush towel, maybe some candles, and a few of these recipes. Just be sure to make some extras for yourself.

Body Scrubs

You need only four ingredients to make these moisturizing exfoliants. The base can be made from either Epsom salts or sugar, depending on whether you want a large or fine grain. Color the scrubs with shades that are in keeping with some of the scents you use -- pink with grapefruit, for example, or green with eucalyptus. Makes about 2 1/3 cups.

Tools and Materials
2 cups Epsom salts or organic cane sugar
1 cup carrier oil
8 drops essential oil(s)
1 drop food coloring
Special equipment: plastic pipette, canning jars

Directions
1. Stir together Epsom salts or sugar and carrier oil in a bowl, mixing well.

2. Using pipette, add essential oil, 1 drop at a time. Add food coloring, and stir until color is even throughout. Spoon into canning jars.

3. Download clip-art labels, enlarging or reducing to fit top of canning jar if necessary. Print onto ink-jet bumper-sticker paper (which is designed to withstand water). Cut out the labels, and affix to clean jars.


Bath Snowballs

These fragrant spheres for the bath (we scented ours with peppermint oil) are made by packing Epsom salts into a plastic mold. The bath "snowballs" can be tinted any color. You'll need 3 to 4 days to make the bath balls because of the drying time between steps. Makes 2 large or 4 small balls.

Tools and Materials
2 cups Epsom salts
2 tablespoons water
A few drops essential oil(s)
1 drop food coloring, plus more if desired
Special equipment: plastic pipette, large or small round bath-ball molds, storage jars

Directions
1. Stir together Epsom salts and water in a mixing bowl. Using pipette, add oil, 1 drop at a time, until strength of scent is to your liking. Add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired shade is achieved; stir until color is even throughout.

2. Spoon a generous amount of mixture (more than necessary) into 1/2 of a bath-ball mold. Pack firmly. Repeat, packing mixture into second half of mold. Press pieces together until they connect. Remove top half of mold very carefully. Let bath ball stand, mold side down, overnight (set ball on an overturned jar lid to keep it from tipping over).

3. Remove mold carefully. Invert, and let ball dry completely, 2 to 3 days more. Transfer to jars.


Bath Fizzies

Ice-cube trays serve as molds, giving the fizzies their shape. Using a flexible silicone model lets you slide the cubes out smoothly without breaking them.

Show off the colors of the bath fizzies in glass jars with screw tops, the kind used for storing sugar and flour. Pack each type of fizzy in a separate jar so the scents won't meld. Write the name of the scent on a vellum tag (choose a shade that matches the fizzies), and punch a hole in the top. Thread the tag with ribbon, and tie it around the jar.

Citric acid, a common food additive, is available at wine-making-supply stores, some spice shops, and online. When citric acid is combined with baking soda and placed in water, a chemical reaction creates bubbles.

Makes 1 dozen (use 2 per bath)

Tools and Materials
1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
About 6 drops food coloring
10 to 15 drops essential oil(s)
Special equipment: 2-ounce travel-size spray bottle, plastic pipette, silicone ice-cube tray, storage jars

Directions
1. Stir together citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch in a glass measuring cup.

2. Pass mixture through a fine sieve or a flour sifter into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar.

3. Fill spray bottle with water, and add food coloring. Spritz mixture lightly (it should become damp but not fizzy) until you can pack mixture with your hands.

4. Using pipette, add oil, 1 drop at a time, until strength of scent is to your liking. Using a metal spoon or your hands, mix ingredients until color is even throughout (mixture will begin to dry out; when this happens, spritz until packable again).

5. Spoon into ice-cube tray, pressing firmly. Let dry at room temperature overnight. Pop out of tray gently. Transfer to jars.

Happy Crafting
Jaymi

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