Sunday, November 7, 2010

Handmade Christmas Presents part one: Soaking in a hot tub!

Want to surprise all those aunts and sisters and grandmas and teachers with something handmade that they can actually use? Want to show your kids about the chemical reaction of natron and citric aid, dissolved in water? Then join me making some cosmetics:
We made bathfizzies, bathsalt, lipgloss and soap, but let´s just start with the bath fizzies. One thing I loved last year, when I regained a little freedom after my twins grew older, was soaking in the tub, for long evenings, with a book. I´ve always loved floating, but then again, who doesn´t? And I´ve always loved those luxury bath fizzies, smelling like some essential oils and coloring the bathwater. Only, they are pretty pricey, and even now, as I could afford them, why buy when you can diy? (Love this saying!)
So, I went researching the internet, raided a pharmacy and went to work. Also, this is an awesome chemical experiment to show to your children, so, gather your ingredients:

You will need:
2 cups of natron
1cup of citric aid (not liquid. We got it in the pharmacy)
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/2 cup of cocoabutter (from the pharmacy, too)
This is the base. You can add fragrances or color in form of foodcoloring (not liquid), as much as you want to.
Then you first mix the dry ingredients (Natron, citric aid and cornstarch) in a bowl:
while you melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler:
pour the cocoa butter into the bowl with your dry ingredients, add essential oils and foodcoloring and mix with hands.
It will feel like wet sand, and just like with wet sand on the beach, you now form balls with your hands, such as these:
You need to let them dry for 24 hours, then they become pretty hard, so you can wrap them in little boxes or cellophane or jars, without them breaking. When you throw them into water, they dissolve, and the natron reacts with the citric aid, causing your water to sputter. We tried it with the rests from our bowl right away, and it worked:
Should have taken a smelling and sounding picture, though :) Martha Stewart offers a similar recipe, only she moulds her fizzies in icecube trays and adds cane sugar, which sounds intresting, as well. Check her recipe out here.

We still had some cocoa butter spare, so we used it to make lipbalm. We got very cheap containers from the pharmacy: 
They were five cent each, and the only small containers we could find, so we had to spice them up a bit, by spraypainting the lids: 
Then we simply chopped some lipstick rests into the doubleboiler: 
Then we melted those lipstick rests together with the cocoabutter, and if you have, some beeswax. We had, from our candle project, but be carefull using not too much beeswax, or your lipbalm will get too hard. Pour the mixture into your containers, and voila - you´ve got homemade lipbalm. 

And as for the bath salt - we simply bought plain salt crystals and mixed them with petals, essential oils, or the contents of teabags like peppermint or christmas spice. Oh, and we added foodcoloring. And glitter. We love foodcoloring and glitter. Then we filled this in jars and photoshopped some nice labels:
The girls wrote the texts themselves and photoshopped with my assistance. So, what have we got: 
- A personalized cosmetics package for lots of female friends and relatives
-Children learning about homogenization, chemical reactions, photoshop and an attitude not to buy everything and
- an afternoon of fun in the kitchen! Cool, huh?

So, this was the first of my handmade christmas posts. There will be more to come, and I thought I´d match them with... well... a nice wintersong, okay? Such as this warm and cozy song, that sounds like floating in hot water, too:


creativejewishmom/sara said...

wow, this is great! thanks so much for all the photos of the steps and for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday! My daughter would just love this....all the best!

Lisa R Clark said...

They really look great! Following from blog frog!

Michele said...

great idea, I am saving this to try next month!!!

mrs. c said...

Thank you so much for sharing this simple recipes and ideas! I am making Advent gifts for my kids and I will be sufe to use some of these wonderful ideas! I am now a follower!

Julia said...

Oh my goodness I just realized that are in Germany. I have been trying to find the ingredients for the bath fizzies now I see I could have just asked you. Where did you get the Cocoa butter? and the cornstarch? Or what is it called in German?

Gruß aus Mannheim


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