Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Handmade All-Natural Lip Balm Gifts

Hello and Happy New Year's Eve!  I hope your holiday season has been wonderful so far.  We stayed in town over Christmas and enjoyed time with Oklahoma family as well as some out-of-town relatives.
As usual, this winter break has been flying by.  Aside from all the holiday festivities, Jay and I are trying hard to get some "to-dos" accomplished  over break (like shampooing all the carpets!) while still making time for fun.  A couple days ago, we took a day trip to a nearby state park and hiked about seven miles.  It was so nice to get away for a bit and enjoy a change of scenery. 
On another note, now that all the Christmas gifts have been exchanged, I wanted to share a little bit about the lip balm my mom and I made this year for our friends and family.  
Last year's laundry soap was a big hit, so we decided to start a tradition of making a handmade gift together each year.  We settled on lip balm for this year's gift because it's something everyone can always use (especially in this freezing cold winter weather we've been having), and it seemed easy enough to make a large batch in a single afternoon.  

We combed through numerous recipes on the internet and selected four ingredients to use for the balms.  It took a little trial and error to figure out the best proportions, but the consistency of this final formula is just right. I was really happy with how it turned out.

Here is what we used:

6 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons beeswax
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
10-12 drops essential oil
We bought the coconut oil at the grocery store, but the beeswax pellets and vitamin E oil were purchased from Amazon.  We used essential oils that we already had on hand, but they can be easily found online or at any health food store in a variety of scents.

To make the lip balm, we started by melting down the beeswax and coconut oil.  To avoid burning, we placed the ingredients into a small stainless steel mixing bowl which we then submerged in a larger pot of hot (almost boiling) water.  Of course you could also use a double boiler to do this, but our own makeshift method worked surprisingly well.
Once the beeswax and coconut oil were melted, we added in the vitamin E and essential oil and stirred it all together.  We experimented with several flavors of essential oils, but our favorite was the wintergreen.  It was much more noticeable than the orange and gave the balm a fresh, minty fragrance.

We used a small spoon and an eyedropper to fill up our little plastic containers (also purchased on Amazon).  One batch of the lip balm filled up about 18 of the small 5 gram pots.  By the end of the afternoon, we had made enough to fill 50 containers!

After about 15 minutes, the lip balm had cooled off and was ready to use.
To make the gifts a little more special, we decorated each lip balm with a festive sticker and attached it with a dab of hot glue to a small card that I designed on PicMonkey. 
The lip balms were very well received.  Many have commented that they love the way it feels on their lips, and I think everyone appreciated the simple, all-natural ingredients.  Plus, it always seems more special when a gift is made by hand.

I'm not sure exactly what the next few days have in store, but I am going to do my best to enjoy every minute  of my time off before the craziness of work resumes.

Wishing you all a very safe and healthy new year!

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