DIY Gifts: Lotions, Potions & More

Those last-minute “gotta get the neighbor a gift” moments can lead to reckless rampages through the mall. Chill! This selection of handmade treats can be made in one relaxing afternoon or evening. By you.



DailyWorth’s own Hilary Fetter—marketing guru by day, craft maven by night—says that lotions, body scrubs and lip balm are surprisingly simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients. Get recipes for her Peppermint Balm

Balm lip balm, Orange & Spice & Everything Nice lotion or Sugar Cookie Body Scrub here.


Forget those lumpy wax balls you made in third grade. Vintage tins add a touch of whimsical elegance to these home-made candles, that will dazzle friends, family and your hard-to-buy-for boss.


Not crafty? Amanda and MP don’t live in the DIY zone either. Fortunately, there’s—a terrific site with step-by-step gifts anyone (even we) can make. Amanda loves the teddy bear night light and MP, who envies Hilary’s stockpile of personal beauty products, is tempted by the scented bath salts. Stir it up. What are your go-to ideas for DIY holiday hits?



Sugar Cookie Body Scrub
Makes 1-3 scrubs, depending on jar size. This recipe is easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled or more!
Time: approximately 5 minutes

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water soluble castor oil (optional, but cuts down on the slippery shower effect of the olive oil)
  • 2-3 drops each of vanilla and almond essential oil (can use just almond, as vanilla can be harder to find and more expensive)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir. Scoop into a jar. Voila!  


chapstick Peppermint Balm Balm
Makes 25-35 tubes
Time: approximately 20-30 minutes

  • 6-8 tablespoons of beeswax (about 2 ounces; available at most natural food stores and some grocers)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (can be an oil blend of a quarter olive, quarter sesame or almond—anything will be moisturizing!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil (can pinch off the top and squeeze vitamin E supplements, if you have them!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey
  • 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil

Use a cheese grater to grade the beeswax into chips if you bought a block, otherwise, melting it will take until the New Year. Completely melt the beeswax chips in a double boiler (or improvise one, by putting a glass jar holding the wax into a pot of cool water; simmer until wax melts).

Once beeswax is melted, add the coconut oil and cocoa butter. When these are melted, add the olive oil (or oil blend). Stir with a chop stick (it’s easier to clean lip balm from than a spoon!).

Remove from heat. Add vitamin E, honey and essential oil. (The essential oils will evaporate before they infuse your balm with scent/flavor if you add while still over the heat.) Stir with chop stick.

Pour mixture carefully into balm tubes. Voila!


 lotionOrange & Spice & Everything Nice Lotion
Makes 10 oz. of creamy lotion; Quantity will depend on bottle size
Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa butter
  • 3/4 cup almond oil (may substitute other oils, like olive)
  • 2 tablespoons shaved beeswax chips


  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon distilled water (may substitute prepared and cooled orange spice tea, for added scent)
  • 1/8 cup glycerin
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E (same as above)
  • 20 drops orange essential oil; 20 drops clove essential oil (Don’t go overboard with the clove oil—in large quantities it has a numbing effect. Good for toothaches or scrapes, not for hands.)

Fill a large pot half full of cool water. Place a glass jar or other small glass container, preferably with a spout (like a Pyrex measuring cup), into the pot with water. Voila, a double boiler. Melt all “oils” ingredients until completely clear and mixed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, until edges begin to congeal. (Very important!) Place all “waters” ingredients into a large blender—start whirling them with the centered of the cap removed (don’t worry—there’s not enough to whirl out onto your counter). Slowly add slightly congealed oils mixture to whirling waters. Blend on high until mixture starts to thicken (a minute or two). Pour into bottles (with pumps if you choose!) or other packaging of your choice. Voila! Lotion will continue to thicken over the course of the next hour or so as the beeswax and coconut oils harden.

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