Friday, December 24, 2010

Last Minute Homemade Christmas Gifts

It’s the 24th of December and you just found out about an unexpected guest and need something easy, quick and inexpensive to give them for Christmas. I say look no further than your own pantry!
Here, I have step by step instructions on making a luscious Lemon Sugar Scrub, a warm Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub and a lovely Pumpkin Spice Scrub, all found on the brilliant blog, Under the Table and Dreaming.
You can make all three scrubs with accessible and affordable ingredients you probably already have.  It may be an inexpensive gift but it's thoughtful because it’s homemade and from the heart, no matter how last minute it may be.
For the Lemon Sugar Scrub (my favorite) you will need:
4 T Lemon Juice
1 C Olive Oil or other oil like vegetable, safflower or grape seed
2.5 C Granulated Sugar

These ingredients will make enough to fill a 12oz. Mason Jar and you'll have just enough left over to clean your hands afterwards too.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients.

Mix well until you have a smooth consistency.

This mixture is a great hand scrub and will moisturize as well as exfoliate in one step.

I poured into re-purposed jars that I cleaned out and spray painted the lids black. You could use mason jars or anything that seals well. The mixture will separate as it sits, just include directions with your gift to mix well and then scoop a small amount into your hands and massage into skin, rinse with water and pat dry.

For the Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub you will need...
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
1 Cup of Sunflower Oil  (I used olive oil in all my mixes)
1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

Sunflower Oil or Safflower Oil is best for this body scrub because it does not carry the strong scent that Olive Oil does.

In a large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, then mix in the oil and vanilla extract.

I started to mix this with a spoon, but it worked much better mixing by hand because I could break up all the little sugar clumps.

To make the Pumpkin Spice Scrub, simply substitute the vanilla with 2 T Pumpkin Pie Spice from your spice rack. The scent is lovely and another reason to use an oil other than olive oil in this recipe.

I have to say that the addition of pumpkin spice powder added tiny brown flakes to the scrub which you have to be extra diligent to wash off.  I packaged both the Vanilla Brown Sugar and the Pumpkin Spice Scrub in mason jars. Make sure you choose something with a tight fitting lid.

I re-purposed foil Christmas cards that I found at Big Lots as my gift tags.

I cut the pretty part from the front of the card that read “Merry Christmas”, “Seasons Greeting”, and “Happy Holidays.”

Using a hole punch I put two holes towards the top so I could thread ribbon through.

Creativity is messy....and I am very creative!

 I chose different ribbon for each type of scrub.

My sweet little helper Madeline.

Using a glitter pen I wrote on the back of each gift tag what it was, to mix well, and how to use it. For the pickles, I wrote to keep them refrigerated.

I think that these are a great way to welcome guests to your home, or send them off with something homemade to remember your hospitality by.

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you have a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends who mean the most to you. It's not about presents or who spent what, let's try to keep in mind the Reason for the Season and let those you love know you love them.

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