A Homemade Christmas
It's that time of year again. Shop 'til you drop and run up your charge cards paying for it. Merry Christmas.
If this seems rather cold and impersonal, it is because Christmas can seem that way these days. The commercial aspect of the holiday has become an all-encompassing theme. Who can enjoy giving when they know that January will bring over-whelming bills as a result? It does not have to be that way. Lovely, homemade gifts can be a thoughtful, inexpensive alternative. It won't take much time or money, it's fun and the recipientfeel special because you took the time to make something just for them. Try it this year and see the difference.
Homemade Herb Scented Candles
Candle Making at Home
Homemade Christmas Herb Scented Candles
These are not difficult. If you don't have candle molds, use tin cans or milk cartons, or pour wax into a decorative jar that can withstand the heat of a candle flame. Paraffin is easily obtainable at the supermarket in the canning section. Wicking can be found at craft stores.
- 2 lb. paraffin wax, broken into small pieces
- 2 cups dried herbs or 1 fl. oz. essential oil
- 2 wax crayons for colouring (optional)
- candle wicking
- petroleum jelly
Melt the wax slowly in a bowl placed over a sauce hot water. (I have used a double boiler instead, on very low heat) Stir in crayons if desired. Remove from heat and add herbs as the wax cools. Coat molds with petroleum jelly. Drop one end of wicking to the bottom of each mold and wrap the other end around a pencil resting across the top of the mold. This keeps the wick centred as you pour in the wax. When the wax resembles a gel, pour into mold or container. Allow candles to set overnight, then remove carefully.
Homemade Christmas Lip Balm
I made this one year, put some in little tins and used for stockings stuffers.
- 1 1/2 ounce beeswax
- 1 ounce honey
- 2 ounces olive oil ***
Melt beeswax in a double boiler. Stir in honey. Beat in oil and continue stirring until cool. Put into container(s).
Small containers with screw tops are available in pretty colours and can be found at Wal-Mart, near the pharmacy section. Beeswax is sold at health food stores but is much cheaper from bee keepers, if you can find one.
*** I have never tried this with almond oil as a substitute, but I can't see why it wouldn't work.
- Christmas Stocking Stuffers
Stocking Stuffers don't have to be expensive to be perfect for the recipient. Keep your Christmas budget in line with these reasonably priced suggestions.
- Santa, We Need More Time!
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Homemade Violet Lotion
Violets contain lots of Vitamin A, so it is very good for the skin. Almond oil smooths, softens and feeds skin. It is also good for under eye care. To find ingredients, start at your local health food store. Next year, pick the violets out of your lawn and make lotion right away or dry violets for future use.
- 1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried violet leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried violet flowers
- almond oil to cover
- 1 ounce melted beeswax
Place violet leaves and flowers in stainless steel pan and cover with almond oil. Place on very, very low heat, covered and leave to steep for about 6 hours. Strain off flowers and leaves and add melted beeswax to the almond oil. Stir until mixture is creamy. Test for firmness. If too stiff, add a little more almond oil. Pour into pretty containers and use daily.
Merry Christmas & Happy Crafting
These few things will get you started. Check out the library, online, craft magazines for even more ideas.
The Christmas spirit will be much more prominent for your efforts, and you should feel more relaxed, as well.
Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday!
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