Are you looking to give coworkers, family, and friends personalized and healthy presents this holiday? Homemade gift kits made of natural ingredients say “I care” and can double as a fun project. Get inspired by our five easy do-it-yourself ideas below. Because many raw materials may be sitting in your cupboard waiting to be wrapped up together or are readily available at your local natural products store, you’ll be set for a special delivery in no time. Gather the ingredients and create fun instructions with cutout letters, crayons, or your computer.
The Indian spice mix known as garam masala is a flavorful blend that works wonders for Indian-inspired dishes. Or go nontraditional with a batch of masala-seasoned french fries.
The recipe: To make garam masala, roast 1/3 cup coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, and 1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds until fragrant. Mix with 2 tablespoons whole cloves, 1/4 cup cardamom seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ground mace, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons ground black pepper; grind entire mixture well. For an authentic look, package in a stainless-steel jar, or use a small Ball-type jar.
Everyone needs a little R&R after the holiday rush. Try one of these easy-to-make essential-oil blends, which can be added to a basic carrier oil, such as almond, for a healing massage lotion.
The recipe: Blend 1—Oils of bergamot (9 drops), geranium (11 drops), and ginger (10 drops). Blend 2—Oils of neroli (7 drops), lavender (3 drops), and lemon (20 drops). For massage oil, start with 4 tablespoons carrier oil for each blend; gradually increase the carrier oil to suit your taste. Pour into a decorative bottle.
This cleansing and refreshing facial mask recipe is suitable for anyone who may need a pick-me-up after too much holiday cheer.
The recipe: 8 tablespoons green clay, 4 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 2 teaspoons almond oil, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon glycerin, 5 drops lavender oil, 3 drops rosemary oil. Blend well and package in a Ball-type jar. Store in the refrigerator. Makes approximately eight applications.
If you know a Mr. (or Ms.) Clean, why not give a natural, nontoxic cleaner? This recipe is an all-purpose cleaner for kitchens and bathrooms.
The recipe: 2 teaspoons Borax, 4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 4 cups hot water. Mix ingredients and pour into a refillable spray bottle. For stronger cleaning power, add 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s.
If desired, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil for disinfecting strength or neroli oil for citrus’ cleaning oomph.
Homemade, natural deodorant can be a safe and effective alternative to antiperspirants that contain potentially harmful ingredients, such as aluminum.
The recipe: 6 teaspoons witch hazel, 2 teaspoons glycerin, 2 drops clove oil, 2 drops coriander oil, 5 drops grapefruit oil, 2 drops lavender oil, 10 drops lemon oil, 5 drops lime oil, 5 drops palmarosa oil. Mix the witch hazel and vegetable glycerin together, add the essential oils, mix, and then put in a glass spray bottle. Shake well before each use. The deodorant keeps for up to six months.