Lotion bars are an easy do-it-yourself gift that will work for almost anyone on your Christmas list. Today, I’m going to show you how quick and easy they are to make. This is the second installment in my DIY Christmas Gift series. (If you missed the first post about How to Make Candles, you can find it here!)
Lotion bars are probably one of the easiest Christmas gift ideas out there and they work for almost anyone. (Except maybe children, even though my 3 boys use them all the time.) Men, women, teachers, friends, and family members all tend to get dry skin during the winter. These lotion bars are very moisturizing and are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. I keep a supply of these all over my house because they have worked wonders on my dry, cracked winter skin.
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WHAT IS A LOTION BAR?
If you aren’t familiar with a lotion bar, it is a solid bar of oils and waxes that helps condition even the roughest of hands. They are super simple to make and only require three ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter. The shea butter and coconut oil condition your skin and the beeswax provides a protective barrier to keep your skin from drying out. You can make them fancier by adding essential oils and customizing the scent to fit the recipient. My favorite combo for Christmas is chocolate peppermint, but I’ll give you several scent combinations to try out.
This recipe makes about 6 1.5 oz bars if using cupcake liners and filling them about half full. However, your results will vary depending on the size of the mold you use. For your molds, you can use silicone muffin liners, or ziplock plastic containers. I find the silicone muffin liners the easiest to use. You can find round ones on Amazon or these would make beautiful lotion bars. Here is a muffin pan similar to the one I use which is shown in the pictures below.
To make lotion bars you will need:
- coconut oil-I use refined unless I am making coconut lime scented bars
- beeswax pellets
- shea butter or cocoa butter, (I usually use shea butter unless I’m making chocolate peppermint lotion bars.)
- essential oils, optional
- a saucepan to hold water
- a pyrex measuring cup to melt the oils in
- a spoon to stir
- something to use as a mold, (Silicone cupcake liners work great!)
I have no problems whatsoever using my normal kitchen equipment to make the lotion bars since the products are natural and edible. The only thing I would suggest purchasing special for this project is the molds. Occasionally the essential oils may linger in the silicone or plastic and could end up affecting other items later. If you truly don’t want to purchase any special equipment, you could use old yogurt cups for the molds.
To make the bars you will need equal amounts of all three ingredients. Weigh out 3 oz. beeswax, 3 oz. coconut oil, and 3 oz. shea or cocoa butter and place in a pyrex container. Alternatively, if you don’t have a scale, measure out 1/3 cup beeswax, 1/3 cup coconut oil, and 1/3 cup shea butter. Add about 2″ water to a saucepan and place the pyrex container in the saucepan. Be sure that the water will not splash into the pyrex container. Set this make-shift double boiler over medium heat. As the mixture melts, stir occasionally. The coconut oil will be the first to melt and the beeswax will be the last.
When all the ingredients are almost melted, remove from the heat and continue to stir to melt the remaining beeswax pellets. Then add your essential oils and stir one last time. I use a little less than half a teaspoon (about 30-50 drops) of my essential oil.
Immediately pour the melted mixture into your molds. The bars will set up pretty fast so try to work quickly. If the mixture hardens before you are finished pouring, set it back in the saucepan on the stove and stir until it melts again.
Let harden about an hour and pop out of the molds. If they aren’t coming out easily, place in the freezer for 10 minutes and try again.
Your lotion bars are done!
It is easiest to clean up the pyrex and your spoon while everything is still warm. Using a paper towel, wipe out the pyrex measuring cup and spoon and then wash in warm soapy water or you can wash them in the dishwasher.
To give as gifts, I like to wrap them individually in tissue paper and tie with a piece of ribbon. I also like to include the instructions on how to use the bars. I used round Avery labels # 22817 and their free design software to make the labels shown in the picture. You could also just write the instructions on a decorative piece of paper and give with the lotion bar. One year I found cute little glass bowls in the Dollar Tree that I placed the lotion bars in. You can also search on Amazon for some storage tins or give them in the silicone muffin liners.
How to use a lotion bar: Allow the bar to soften slightly in your hands. Rub over dry skin.
A FEW NOTES ON MAKING LOTION BARS
This recipe is very scalable. If you only want a couple of bars, you can use 1 oz. of each ingredient, using only 10-12 drops of essential oil.
Here are some scent combinations you might like to try:
- Chocolate Peppermint-use cocoa butter instead of shea butter and use peppermint essential oil
- Coconut Lime-use unrefined coconut oil (will smell like coconuts) instead of refined coconut oil and use lime essential oil
- Lavender-use lavender essential oil
- Orange spice-use 20 drops orange essential oil, 8 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil, and 4 drops clove essential oil.
Stay tuned for my DIY lip balm recipe and some DIY gift basket ideas. In case you missed the previous DIY gift ideas, you can find the first post on how to make candles here and my post on how to make soap here.
Have you ever tried a lotion bar before? Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite scent combo was.
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