Homemade Gift Ideas: Lotion Bars and Hand Salve

I promised I’d follow up my previous post with more great suggestions for homemade gift ideas. This post will be pretty short and pretty sweet. Today we’re making homemade lotion bars and hand salve. All with natural ingredients and super easy to do. Cleaning up is probably the most time-consuming part, and I even have a solution for that! I’m sharing these two together, because one sort of came out of making the other. I’m going to attempt to do the math for you in the event that you want to make just one or the other, but it’s actually not a big deal to do some trial and error here until you get it exactly how you want it. That’s the beauty of DIY fun! 

homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars

Silicone Molds – get some!

A while back, I bought some silicone ice trays, and Amazon suggested some other silicone molds I might like. With a vague notion that one day I might want to make chocolates or something like that, I went ahead and bought a sheet of heart-shaped molds. And then the tray sat in my cupboard for about 2 years, untouched. When I decided that this year would be the Year of the Homemade Gift, I knew that that tray would come in handy!

You don’t HAVE to have silicone molds to make the lotion bars, but they sure do make it a lot easier, because they’re flexible and non-stick. If you don’t have them and don’t have time to order them before Christmas, you could get creative with some parchment paper and a baking dish. You can actually cut these bars to size, so if you’re ok with a less precise look, you could do one big sheet and then cut the bars yourself. Maybe a really sharp cookie cutter would work? Don’t quote me on that one. I haven’t tried it, but I know cutting it with a good knife would do the trick. If you are interested in getting some molds though, I’ve collected my favorites and shared them below. Check them out! I’m actually adding some of these to my cart right now for future projects. I love those bugs! (although I kind of wish there was one with just lady bugs …)

Click on the image you like to add it to your Amazon shopping cart. It will contribute a few cents to CWB and provide inspiration for your next crafty project. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

   homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion barshomemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion barshomemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars

  homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion barshomemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion barshomemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars


Ok, now let’s get started.

Homemade Lotion Bars

My recipe for lotion bars came straight from the master of homemade everything, the Wellness Mama. She seems to have a recipe for everything under the sun when it comes to DIY body care, cleaning products, make up, and even random things like foam rollers and self-tanner. First, I’ll share her link to Homemade Lotion Bars so you can see how simple it is, and then I’ll explain how the recipe ended up making both lotion bars and hand salve.

homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars

Lotion Bars: Here’s what I did.

I used the Wellness Mama’s proportions of coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter (1 cup each), and heated them in a large  glass jar on the stove (at least 3 cups in size). To do that, I placed the jar into a pot of water and boiled the water while the jar sat inside.

Note: I ended up transferring the liquid to a large measuring cup, as it was much easier to control the pour into the molds because of the little spout on the measuring cup. Next time I’ll start with the measuring cup. It might make sense to have a dedicated “crafting” measuring cup for this so that you don’t have to clean it up much. Here’s a good one from Pyrex.

Once everything was liquified (the beeswax took by far the longest to liquify), I turned off the fire and added in the contents of 3 vitamin E gel caps and about 40 drops of lavender essential oil (this is the one I used). If I did it again, I’d double the lavender, because they aren’t quite as fragrant as I want them to be.

Then I went to pour the liquid into my molds and soon realized that I had a lot more liquid than I did molds. I had 28 molds, but they’re pretty small. I ended up with about 1 cup left over. Not wanting to waste it, I decided to but it back on the fire and add another full cup of coconut oil.homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars

Homemade Hand Salve

And that’s when my hand salve was born. I heated the ingredients until the coconut oil was melted, added the oil from 3 more vitamin E gel caps, and about 20 drops of peppermint oil. For simplicity, and in case you want to make JUST the hand salve sometime, here’s an estimate of the ingredients. Of course, you can choose whatever fragrance you want. These quantities yielded 9 two-oz tins of hand salve.

  • 1 and 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shea butter
  • 1/3 cup beeswax
  • the oil from 3 vitamin E gel caps
  • 20 drops lavender oil
  • 20 drops peppermint oil (I used this one)

I happened to have these lovely tins on hand, so I poured in the hand salve experiment and hoped for the best. Once everything cooled, Loren and I tried both the lotion bars and the hand salve. And both came up winners

homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars

Because I didn’t think far enough ahead to order labels for my projects, I did the next best thing. I drew pictures on the tins in paint pen. It’s just about the easiest way to personalize a gift. I grabbed a red one and a green one and made some cute little Christmas pictures and called it a day. You can be as creative as you want with this step! I considered glue and glitter but then remembered that these were likely to end up inside the purses of women I love. And I realized that the thought of getting glitter in my purses would make the opposite of “merry and bright” so I went with paint pens.

I hope you give one or some of these a try! 

In case you missed it, yesterday’s post walks you through a simple recipe for Homemade Foot Scrub/Salt Scrub. Check it out and let me know if you decide to try any of these!

homemade gift ideas: homemade hand salve homemade lotion bars

FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links (CWB Favorite Picks), which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All opinions are my own.


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