Sunday, 15 December 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts

This weekend I made some of the DIY presents for the ladies, and a few days before Christmas I will make a few jars of spicy or candy nuts for the men, so they are nice and fresh. 

One of the blogs I follow for Paleo recipes has some recipes for natural cosmetics and I made Foot Balm from Elana's instructions and from another blog I made Body Lotion Bars and Lip Balm.

All quite easy and rewarding to do, I just had to go and buy beeswax, that I found at an Art shop, and Cocoa butter and essential oils at the local health store.
I found some small plastic containers at Red Dot (a cheap novelty store) for $1 and a travel pack for $3 with among others, 3 tiny jars ideal for the lip balm.

Travel jars and Lotion jars from Red Dot
Here are the recipes:

1 part beeswax
1 cocoa butter OR olive oil OR coconut oil
A few drops essential oil
Melt beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler, remove from heat and add a few drops of essential oil and pour into small containers.

The blue metal container held mints and was a gift from Iris, the German blogger I met with (see Penguin island post)

30gr beeswax, grated
1/4 cup cocoa or shea butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 drops essential oil of vanilla
10 drops essential oil of peppermint

In a double boiler melt beeswax and cocoa butter, add coconut and olive oil and stir well.
Remove from heat and add essential oils. Pour into small containers.

Melting beeswax in a double boiler
Ingredients for the Foot balm

Cocoa butter
Coconut oil
Optional - Vitamin E oil (2 teaspoons) and Grapeseed oil (2 tablespoons)
Optional - Essential oil of your choice

Melt a 1:1:1 ratio of the first 3 ingredients in a double boiler (small pan inside bigger pan with boiling water).
Stir well, and remove from heat
If you are using them add the Vitamin E oil (I didn't use it) and the Grapeseed oil. Add about 25 drops of the essential oil of your choice.
Pour into silicone moulds. Let the bars cool for a few hours and unmould.
To use them rub the bars between your hands to soften the bar enough to use over your body.
They are good for people with eczema and very dry skin.

I made 6 heart bars and 2 round bars of Body Lotion.
I also have some beautiful almost good to eat soaps made by Mamie Fidler which I bought from her site to supplement my home made goodies. I usually made my own soaps, but just plain ones, nothing as fancy or colourful as these ones below.

Soaps from

At this stage of my life I feel I have far too many possessions and have no need for much of anything, so it's a bit difficult when people ask what I would like for Christmas, as I really don't need anything, and I would rather people donated their money to Charity. 
At Christmas time I always donate to "Cat Haven" who do a great job of saving cats from euthanasia, and they were the ones that helped me adopt 5 out of the 8 kittens that were born from the two stray cats that adopted us, back in 2007.
Another charity I like to help is "World Vision". In Australia you can find representatives in some shopping centres and from as little as $5 you can help buy pencils for students in poor communities.
I like to give a gift of "goats" for $40 or "piglets" for $50, which I know is going to benefit a community somewhere in the world!

Do you make your own gifts?
Do you think the gift recipients appreciate home-made gifts?

Have a wonderful Christmas in the company of your family and friends. 
xxx Sami


  1. Para o ano quero oferecer no Natal presentes feitos por mim. Fazer sabonetes é uma boa ideia ;)

  2. Para mim, estes presentes são os mais significativos, pois implicam carinho, dedicação, amizade, tempo e trabalho personalizado. E é sempre uma recordação mais pessoal, uma arte que associamos a uma pessoa amiga específica, seja com jeito para fazer rendas, sabonetes, bijuteria, doces, etc.
    Um belo presente, Sami! As suas amigas vão gostar imenso. Tenho a certeza. Uns miminhos destes caem sempre que nem ginjas. ;-) A nós, mulheres, então...;-)

  3. Funny enough, and I kid you not, just today at work I linked to on behalf of a user´s wish! They care for straying cats in Braunschweig. It´s a small world, huh?
    So, the mint-case travels on :-)
    Yes, in times where you can buy almost anything self made gifts are best. Sadly I´m not good at it, though! Which sounds like a lame excuse, it really sounds easy how you describe it!
    In my defence we don´t have such a pot in a pot...

  4. Margarida - pessoalmente gosto de prendas simples mas feitas com amor.
    Sandra - Obrigada pelo carinho.

  5. Iris - yes the mint tin is being reused, it's very pretty to be thrown away!
    I had to laugh - a pot in a pot? It's just a smaller pot inside a bigger pot with boiling water, so it's not touching the heat directly. You should try making some for yourself too.

  6. Olá!
    Não há problema :)
    Ainda bem que o postal chegou! Estava com medo que não chegasse a tempo.
    Espero que tenha gostado.

  7. Bela ideia! Bom Natal, Sami, para todos vós.

  8. Obrigada J.M, Bom Natal e Ano Novo para si e familia tambem.

  9. I’m glad to read you again. Thanks for this post. Best for you Buddy! and Merry Christmas

  10. Sami, venho desejar-lhe e à sua família, um Feliz Natal, pleno de alegrias, cor, paz e felicidade e agradecer os votos deixados lá no meu cantinho! Beijinho amigo! FELIZ NATAL!! :-)

  11. Thanks for sharing these great ideas and recipes for making the balms, Sami. What great gifts your friends are going to receive!


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