Friday, November 30, 2012

Simple Gifts: Vanilla Bean Body Scrub

I've decided this year to make holiday gifts for my friends and family rather than spending hundreds of dollars on things that are less personal and involve me having to wait in line for hours at the big box stores.

At the top of my list this season is homemade Vanilla Bean Body Scrub from the book Simple Gifts. A friend of mine bought a ton of vanilla beans on Amazon, so we automatically have our theme. ;) You can find the vitamin E (oil or capsules) at your local grocery store near the bath and body stuff. For the essential oil you'll have to visit a health food place.

Vanilla Bean Body Scrub
Excerpted from Simple Gifts

Make your own sugar scrub

Simply Perfect For: Anyone with rough skin.

"I love sugar and never turn down a sweet treat. That includes a delectable sugar scrub for the body. More gentle than rock salt (which can sting), sugar is just as effective for smoothing the skin. You can use whatever essential oil you fancy; I like infusing mine with vanilla and adding a dash of orange essential oil for a calorie-free, delicious-smelling Creamsicle treat. Just remember that this goes on, not in, your body."

You'll need:

1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup (62.5 ml) carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil or extra-virgin olive oil)
1 cup (201 g) brown or raw sugar
Vitamin E capsule
15 drops orange essential oil
Large pot
Metal spoon
Measuring cups
Metal tongs
Cookie sheet
8-ounce (236 ml) jar

Step 1:
Sterilize the jar and tools in a hot-water bath.

Step 2:
Add the carrier oil and vanilla bean to your jar. Screw the top on loosely and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of days. You can leave the bean in the oil or remove it when you are ready to mix your scrub (and since vanilla beans are spendy, you can reuse this for another batch).

Step 3:
Puncture your vitamin E capsule with a sterilized pin and add it, along with your essential oil, to the jar and mix well. Add the sugar to the jar and stir thoroughly. That's it. You're ready to wrap this one up.


To Use:
Simply stick a finger in the jar to mix up the heavenly scrub. Then step into the shower, scoop up a handful, and rub it on dry skin. Rinse off with hot water and marvel at your skin's velvety texture.

Yield:
One 8-ounce (236 ml) jar or tub.

Note:
Clean up the tub after use so you don't leave an oil slick for the next unsuspecting bather.

Wrap it up!
Reuse a glass container, such as a large salsa jar, and affix a round label to the lid to hide the printed text. Cover the label with clear plastic tape to protect it (sugar and oil can wreak havoc on a label). You can also affix buttons or shells to the lid with a hot glue gun for a more decorative presentation.

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Want to try your hand at homemade gifts? Simple Gifts offers a little bit of everything. Once you flip through these pages, you're going to want to try it all.

Simple Gifts by Jennifer Worick



Heartfelt + handmade = the perfect gift. In Simple Gifts, Jennifer Worick offers step-by-step instructions for creating easy and inspired handmade gifts that won’t break the bank. Learn how to stitch a wine bag for your favorite foodie, sew pajama pants for a tried-and-true friend, roast coffee beans for an office pal, or felt a ring for your sweetheart. Also included is Jennifer’s helpful, witty advice on choosing the right gift for anyoneman, woman, or childand how to wrap up your present with style.

From a sweet knitted apron to a hand-embroidered handkerchief, personalized note cards to soothing natural lip balm, a quilted baby blanket to a manly wooden toolbox, these heartfelt, handmade gifts are certain to wow and touch your loved ones.