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As summer draws to an end, I start thinking about all the birthdays, anniversaries and such I have coming up in the next few months. That, of course, brings a reminder of the bigger holidays. If your family is anything like mine, buying a gift for everyone can easily break the bank and put you into debt. To avoid this, I like to make as many gifts as I can. Since I am not the craftiest of people, I had to look long and hard to find things that I could both make easily and that people would like. The answer came in the form of gift baskets. While you can easily buy all the items to fill these up, you can just as easily make some or even all of the items in each one. An added plus is that they can be made for anyone and for any occasion. You can make generalized baskets or a very personalized on for a special person and/or occasion. The point is, it is very simple to put together fabulous baskets, even if you aren't an arts and crafts kind of person!

Bath and spa type baskets are the easiest to make when you are first getting started (or so I found). Below are some basic bath and gift ideas to try. Once you feel comfortable making these, try mixing up your own ideas for scents and colors. You will be surprised what you can come up with! Check dollar, thrift and discount stores for creative "baskets" to use to present your gift. They don't have to be expensive and it's even better if they can
use it afterwards!

Bath Crystals
1 cup rock salt
20-30 drops of essential of or fragrance
Food coloring

Mix salt and food coloring. Add oil. Mix well to make sure oil is absorbed by the salt. Store in an air tight container. (baby food jars work well) Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tbs under faucet as tub fills.

Bath Oil
1 oz essential oil or fragrance
4 oz of one of the following:
baby oil
safflower oil
sunflower oil
sweet almond oil
canola oil

Mix ingredients well. Store in an air tight container. Sprinkle 1 tsp under faucet as tub fills.

Bath Powder
½ cup baking soda
½ cup corn starch
15-20 drops essential oil or fragrance

Mix ingredients well. Let dry before packaging. Store in an air tight container to retain fragrance.

Bubble Bath
1 cup mild dishwashing liquid (Ivory / Dawn)
¼ cup glycerin
1 tsp sugar
40-50 drops essential oil or fragrance

Mix ingredients well. Store in an air tight container. Sprinkle 2 0r3
Tbs under faucet as tub fills.

Massage Oil
½ cup light oil (canola, sunflower, etc.)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg (optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract

Mix well. Let sit for at least 2 hours. Pour through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Store in an air tight container.

Spray-On Body Oil
¼ cup vodka
¼ cup scented water
3 Tbs sweet almond oil

Pour all ingredients into a spray pump bottle. Close and shake until mixed well. Shake before each use.

Easy Scented Soap
1 bar unscented soap – grated (Ivory works well)
dried orange peel
rose petals
10 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients in microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Roll into balls or press into shapes. (candy molds work well) Soap Will Be Very HOT! Be Careful When Handling!

Gel Potpourri
Liquid potpourri
Unflavored gelatin
Pretty jars or bowls
Fabric scraps / doilies / tulle

Boil 1 cup of potpourri. Add 2 packages of gelatin. Stir to mix. Add 1 more cup of potpourri and stir again. Fill jars / bowls with the mixture. Place pretty fabric / doilies / tulle on top and tie with ribbon!

Brenda Spagnola-Wilson is a moderator and community leader at and lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics, with her main focuses being home improvement & decorating, saving money, being a SAHM and general home care. Currently she is the Co-Editor of the At Home with Baby University Newsletter.

8,337 Posts
Always a good idea........ Ladies, start saving those pretty empty jars and bottles.......... Thanks Sara !!!!!

10,045 Posts
Great gift idea! :reindeer:
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