Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Make DIY Gifts This Holiday Season

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Fri, Dec 05, 2014 @ 12:36 PM

Customizing a body scrub is a Do-It-Yourself Gift that is both thoughtful and authentic.

DIY Oil Kit resized 600

Step 1

Pick Your oil variety: many varieties are available and wonderful for your skin. You could try balancing jojoba, protecting sesame, harmonizing grapeseed, nurturing sweet almond or rejuvenating apricot kernel oil. Depending on who you make it for, consider mixing a choice of two oils. Adding some St. Johns wort, calendula or Vitamin E oil brings a personalized touch to a homemade gift, as this adds an extra healing element to the mixture.

Step 2

Select Scrub Texture: for a simple, basic scrub, unbleached white sugar and fine grain sea salt are most common. I did find a variety of recipes that included coffee, brown sugar, Epsom salts and even bananas! I like to stick with simple for my gift giving, although you may decide on a more complex recipe depending on who is receiving this special gift. Fine grain sugars or salts are especially necessary when making a facial scrub, as the face is usually more sensitive, and food ingredients make it perishable.

Step 3

Determine Aroma: now for my favorite and sometimes perplexing step, what should it smell like? You can use one or more scents in your recipe, although blending essential oils is an art that many of us are still learning. I recommend a single scent to start with, such as: balancing geranium, relaxing lavender or romantic patchouli. Many references are available at the Co-op if you have further questions about the best fit, according to its uses. Of course a body scrub should be more simple while a room spray may have a more complex smell.


Step 4

Choose container: you will need something to put your wonderful homemade gift in. We have a wide selection of reusable jars and bottles for this project. Any size will work, but I prefer regular mouth 4oz mason jars. This allows me to stretch each batch by making multiple smaller gifts instead of one large gift. Wide mouth jars are also recommended as they allow ease of filling, as well as using. For that extra personal touch, make homemade ribbons out of old fabric!

Step 5

Snag some extra stocking stuffers: with gifts now made, you may want to add a little something more to round out the gift. Find a great selection of shower/bath tools to accompany your scrub, as well as reference books on essential oils—providing your special person a chance to immerse themselves in the wonders of essential oils!


I like to use a blend of oils and sugars and I generally prefer a sugar scrub because it is so gentle on my more sensitive skin. Below is a recipe for one of my favorites—but merely a guide, so do improvise according to your own preferences.

Don’t hesitate to ask the Wellness Staff for ways to personalize your own version. The customizable possibilities are endless and you’re sure to end up with a myriad of giftable options!

Katie’s Rejuvenating Rub Scrub Recipe

¼ cup apricot kernel oil
¼ cup jojoba oil
~20 drops of sweet orange
~15 drops of lemon
~10 drops of lavender
~10 drops of grapefruit
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup unbleached white sugar

Directions: First, blend skin care oils with essential oils for even distribution. Then add the sugars, mix well and enjoy! These scrubs will separate between uses but have no fear—just re-mix and apply to your entire body!

What to do with extras: Make a room spray with a 4oz. atomizer (see grey spray bottle in step 4 of photo) and fill with up to 48 drops of any custom blend of essential oils. Fill rest of bottle with distilled water. Lightly shake to mix and add special handmade label or bow for a stocking stuffer!


Katie Rynes, Wellness & Bodycare Manager

Tags: DIY