Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY Gift: Lip Balm & Why My Husband Refuses To Wash Dishes From Now On

It maybe after the Holidays, but I still wanted to provide ways that you can create great gifts for a loved one. Maybe save the idea for next year or use it as a way to get brownie points for Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day. You never need an excuse to give a small gift that you made.

One new idea we tried this year was DIY herbal lip balm. I've been enamored with Rose Mountain Herbs for quite some time now. Not only do they sell great, healthy products but they also provide a blog and YouTube Channel that inspires your inner herbalist. Have I said enough good things about this company yet? Are you still reading this? Hope so.

Well, their YouTube channel has a great tutorial on how to make lip balm. It seemed so simple we thought we would try it out.

First off, you will need:
1/2 C Calendula Oil
1 oz Bees Wax
1/2 teaspoon lavender oil
20+ lip balm tubes (we did have left over lip balm)

It was so fun trying out this recipe! But I highly suggest you use specific cookware just for wax products. We'll get to that later. But basically you start off with melting the one ounce of wax. I did this by cutting off an ounce, shaving it, then place in a double boiler. Shavings will melt quicker than just a block. While it's melting, go ahead and take the caps of of the lip balm tubes or tins.

After the wax is completely melted into a liquid, you pour in the cup of calendula oil. Next step: don't freak out when the wax slightly solidifies like this:

The wax slightly solidified because the oil was room temperature. So just keep the heat up so the wax can melt back down to a full liquid. This is also when you add the 1/2 teaspoon of lavender oil. You can actually use a 1/2 teaspoon of any kind of essential oil for flavoring. I might use mint oil next time.

After everything is all smooth & mixed, you then have a very short amount of time to pour the balm into the tubes. To make it easier for us, we poured the balm into a measuring cup with a spout. Then poured it into each tube and let it dry.
The only issue I had was that it appears the wax dried before it could get to the very bottom of the tube. It didn't take too long for the entire tube to dry. We labeled and presto! 20 lip balm tubes to go out as stocking stuffers!

Now for the downside. Due to this little experiment we had a double boiler pan, spoon, and measuring cup that were seriously coated in wax and oil. I did my best with hot water to wash it out before my husband came home, but I wasn't able to get it all. He wasn't impressed. Needless to say you should try to to all this with older kitchen equipment or purchase cheap tools that can be dedicated just to wax projects.

Everyone that received lip balm for Christmas love it. And we were able to make it with local beeswax purchased at the Farmer's Market along with lavender oil I made with lavender branches my in-laws gave to me. Next year I hope to have enough dried calendula to make my own calendula oil too! What other essential oils do you think I should add for flavor?

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