I’ve been meaning to put up some how-to projects over here, and now that it’s December, well, there’s no time like the present! I originally posted this on craftster back in 2003 but I just made a batch and packaged it up differently so I thought I’d bring it back, new and improved…
Infused Bath Salts or Salt Scrub
Original how-to: I’ve made bath salts and used essential oils to scent them before, but I thought I’d try using kitchen stuff instead! It works really well, and it’s easy and pretty cheap to make a big batch. You can adjust the oil-salts ratio to your liking — use more oil to make an exfoliating salt scrub, less to make more traditional bath salts.
1/2 – 1 cup extra-light olive oil
1/3 cup ground coffee
6 Tbsp cinnamon (or more if you really like cinnamon, mmm)
reusable coffee filter, or several paper filters, in a coffeemaker basket
3 lb. container of Epsom salts
1 cup baking soda (optional)
2 – 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup
large flat saucepan
1. Warm the olive oil in the Pyrex container in a saucepan of boiling water. Mix in the coffee first, then the cinnamon, stirring to blend as the mixture heats. Continue to infuse for 20 minutes on the stove, stirring from time to time.
2. Pour the coffee-cinnamon-oil mixture through the coffee filter into the large mixing bowl, one-third at a time. Careful not to burn yourself here! Discard the grounds and keep the oil. Let it cool to room temperature.
3. Mix the infused oil with the salts (and baking soda if you’re using it). You’re done!
Update: Stacy mentioned that she infused her olive oil in her crockpot for two hours on high instead of on the stove, and it turned out really well — so you might want to try that. Great idea.
Variation: green tea-ginger. Substitute 1/3 cup green tea and 1/4 cup powdered ginger (cheaper if you buy it in bulk) for the coffee and cinnamon.
I like to use recycled jars or flat plastic bags (very cheap at craft/scrapbooking stores) to package them for gifts. New idea for 2006: the button extravaganza you see here!
Just fill a Mason jar with your salt scrub and paint the lid a cool color (I used hot-pink enamel paint, but acrylic is fine too). When the paint is dry, hot-glue assorted buttons over it and on the sides of the jar. Add a piece of rick-rack around the side of the lid if you like, too. (I used my current favorites, glitter hot-glue for the buttons and Aleene’s Tacky Glue for the rick-rack.)
Of course, you could glue on rhinestones, game pieces, or any flat-backed bits and pieces, too. Or make a personalized label: draw or print out something you like on colored paper, and then apply it to the jar with a glue stick. You can seal it with Delta Ceramcoat Gloss.
If you want to ornament a plain plastic bag, just cut a simple flower shape out in two colors of felt — one 1.5 inches across with pinking shears, one 1 inch across with scissors. Glue them down as shown (Aleene’s again) and let them dry completely. Tie it with a ribbon (I wish I could reach into that picture and re-tie that one… it looks awful, sorry about that) and voila!
I’ll be publishing my December getcrafty column on Monday with tons more how-to projects, so stay tuned if you’re looking for ideas on gifts to make this year…
Update: here it is!