Thursday, 22 October 2009

Gorgeous Christmas Gifts for £0.25p each!

Hello everyone and sorry for the delay, we have had so much on lately.

I saw Marks & Spencer have now got their Christmas decorations up and many stored are selling cards and wrapping already. It reminds me to start getting small things, plus we have agreed no gifts to family and only very small items for friends. It seems in this climate everyone is trying to save!

So here are two ideas you could make now, for Christmas, or who knows even a ghoulish Halloween if you used green and orange colourings...!


Castille Soap

Around 3 weeks ago I made some soap from scratch, so in a week these will be fully cured and it has worked well, I will let you know. These were made with olive oil, beeswax, goats milk and essential oils of chamomile and geranium so should be ideal as both a gentle face wash and shampoo too, which my dry hair will love.

I think the cost worked out £1.50ish for 6 soaps, all natural and multi purpose.

Bath Melts

Another thing I did was to make some bath melts, these were as a gift for a friend and she loved them. The pic on this article is not the ones I have made, but they would look similar if I had spent more on the single 'roses' rather than crushed ones.

Time required: 5 minutes – melt and pour!

50g Cocoa butter
50g shea butter
Rose petals
1 drop of rose essential oil per melt

Sprinkle some rose petals into bottom of each heart cavity in a mould.
Melt shea and cocoa butter together in a pan and pour carefully into pan
Place 1 drop essential oil in each heart
Allow to cool overnight

I bought all the ingredients from ebay, including a heart mould with 9 cavities. One tip I recommend is buy a reasonably deep mould, whatever the shape,as some of the ones I made were thinner as I had added too many petals, so they were fragile. Tip number 2 is don't add too many rose petals!

Once the hearts cooled overnight they looked fab and my friend loved them. I had enough of the shea/cocoa liquid left to pour into a lip balm pot, to which I then added 1 drop of lemon essential oil, and also gave to my friend. So lovely, it smelt like lemon meringue!

You could not have more natural ingredients! I imagine all the bath melts and lip balm cost £2.50. You would pay much more in store. I made 9 hearts plus one lip balm so roughly £0.25p per item on ingredients from now on, now I have invested in the mould.

Not only are they less costly, they could be more environmentally friendly plus the person you give gifts to knows you have spent time considering what they like, as opposed to vouchers, Argos purchases, mistaken gifts etc. You also get the chance to choose 100% organic ingredients, locally sourced etc.

I will post more info about the Castille Soap once I have used it!


Rae said...

These are beautiful sounding recipes; thank you for the inspiration. Can you tell me more about shea butter - what could I use as a substitute? I can't use anything nut based, so no shea nut, no coconut. Would anything else work just as well?

I'm eager to try and bath melts, they look so pretty! My DD would love them for Christmas

K said...

ooo, I'm definately going to have to give those a try at some point, they looks so nice!

This year I'm trying melt & pour soap, bath bombs and bath salts

JadeLD said...

Glad to see you back here, I've been missing your posts. I know what you mean about busy lives though.

These are lovely and would make a really nice gift. My wee sister is making home made gifts this year and I'm sure she would love to try these out. I'll forward her the link.

I'm so excited about Christmas approaching, managed to beat my cashback aim - yay! Got quite a lot of the little things sorted as well as some proper pressies thanks to TK Maxx!

SavingsNow said...

Hi girls, glad to help!
You could just use 100g of cocoa nutter maybe? It is from the cocoa bean, I am not sure if that causes you the same problem.
Mango butter is made from the mango seed, perhaps that would work? It has to be anything in solid form, that when you melt it turns to liquid so you can pour it, but then it returns to solid state in the mould. You could always ask ebay sellers before you buy - good luck!

SavingsNow said...

Thanks so much Jade - I am hoping things will calm down now!
Yes the melts are luscious so I definately recommend them. I imagine you could experiment adding a little beeswax and honey, to cocoa butter maybe, could work well too. I also bought some dried lavender, to make some lavender ones.
Packaging could be in a little draw string bag perhaps.
Also you could perhaps use muffin paper cups, as the effect of the ridges looks lovely once finished (might be tricky to peel away though?). Let's experiment and discuss results!
Soap should be ready next week or week after - I am so excited! If it works I will make another batch as there's still enough time til Christmas. I;d like to make one for Eczma and Psoriasis as I know two people that could benefit x

Rae said...

Thanks for your advice; I shall have a play and see what I can create!

ceridwen said...

I will certainly be interested to know how that soap (which doubles as shampoo) goes please - as I've not yet tracked down a suitable homemade shampoo recipe - so do please keep us informed there as to how it goes and what the "recipe" is please.

SavingsNow said...

Hi ceridwen - will do! I am hoping to try it out this weekend in fact, so hoping to give an update then. Very excited given that I have 6 bars of the stuff (wonky slightly but that just adds to their charm!)x