Artisan crafts: a delightful winter pastime

It’s winter (OK, in most of the northern hemisphere, anyway – I confess we haven’t had very much of it yet!), which makes it a great time to try your hand at some crafty pursuits you might have wanted to experiment with for a while, be it knitting, sewing, or making homemade soaps and body products. Read more in my latest Mother Earth News post:

“A good place to start would be to try your hand at making your own natural body care products such as body butters, balms, scrubs, lotions and deodorants, which are very satisfying and usually very quick to make, and great for personal use, as holiday or hostess gifts when packed in pretty jars, or even as a potentially profitable home-business venture – not to mention they are a lot healthier than anything commercially available!”

Photo above: you’ll be surprised at how creative you can get with simple ingredients such as coconut oil, table salt and sugar, in making natural and lovely handmade body scrubs.

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Easy coconut body butter

I got my hands on a nearly-discarded bar of coconut oil in my Mom’s refrigerator. At first I thought it’s some ancient soap, but when I asked and was casually told that “it should probably be thrown out, it has been here for years”, I took it for myself.

The internet is full of wonderful recipes for homemade creams, lotions, butters, balms and scrubs using coconut oil, and the simplest of them is this: just take some coconut oil (in solid consistency – cool it if you need to) and whip it with an electric beater until you get a smooth, airy texture, akin to whipped cream. I tried to do that, but the coconut oil itself was too thick to whip up well. I had to add a glug of almond oil – don’t ask me for quantities, but I think it was about 1 tbsp. of almond oil to 1/2 cup of coconut oil.

By the way, I used almond oil because that’s what I had on hand, but I daresay it’s also possible to use olive, wheat germ or grape seed oil, or whatever you prefer.

When what I had in the bowl resembled whipped cream so much that my daughters begged to lick the beaters, I stopped whipping and scooped what I got into a small wide-mouthed jar, which I refrigerated for an hour or so before transferring it to room temperature. Then I tried the body butter. It has a lovely creamy consistency and feels very pleasant on dry hands. And it cost practically nothing!

coconut

In various recipes, I saw that people suggest adding a few drops of essential oils to your skin product. While I imagine a hint of lemon, orange or lemongrass wouldn’t go amiss if I had them on hand, I must say I simply love the pure natural smell of coconut, which is both gentle and delicious.

Result: easy-to-make, very affordable, 100% natural concoction that I wouldn’t hesitate to use even on small children or babies.