I have become a DIY addict of sorts. I kidded my husband that one of these days, I’ll be standing in Walmart looking at the toilet paper…telling myself…”yeah, I can make that…better!” Ok, well…maybe not yet…
I started out making my own hand soap, from Heavenly Homemakers, which we love. Then I started making our laundry soap here, as well as our own dish soap and spray cleaner. Last summer we started making our own lotion…and I just ordered stuff to make both bar soap and shampoo bars. I am still a rookie at this stuff…and I have alot to learn…but we have a good start and I’m hooked. My reasons for adding this to my already full plate: 1) It’s fulfilling to be able to be more self sufficient. 2) Fun activities with your kids. 3) A non-toxic alternative in a very toxic world. 4) little/no plastic packaging or waste. 5). Cost/frugality…and 6) ….just because I can.
Ok, so back to the aforementioned lotion. I got this GREAT book for my birthday: “Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World” by my favorite “Urban Homestead” couple Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen.
I love this book. They break down projects from “Day to Day”, “Week to Week”, “Month to Month”, etc. The book covers everything from composting, beekeeping, gardening, making your own mead wine, and hygiene items like…well…lotion (and more)!
My daughter and I tackled the recipe for “Silky Cream” first. She later entered it as a 4-H project in our county fair, and won a blue ribbon for it. In fact, the judge was so impressed she told her that she was going to try it herself…
The ingredients that you will need:
6 oz olive oil (I used cheapy olive oil, even the book outlines that this is fine)
2 oz coconut oil (for personal use, I get my coconut oil here)
1 oz organic beeswax, chunks or pastilles (I initially got mine here, but was later lucky enough to find a beekeeper who sells beeswax – and that was a much better deal!)
10-20 drops essential oil (we used Aura Cacia’s Tranquility but you could use whatever you want)
1 c. tepid water (distilled, filtered or rainwater is best)
A clean dry jar, enough to hold 2 cups of cream. I will add that using a wide mouth mason quart jar is a smart bet. The small mouth ones…not such a smart bet. Live and learn.
Measure and combine the oils and wax in a Pyrex liquid measuring cup. Pour in the olive oil until you reach the 6 ounce line, then add the coconut oil until the oil level rises to the 8 ounce line. Add the beeswax until the liquid reaches the 9 ounce level. Then put the cup in a sauce pan of simmering water.
Heat the oil and wax over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the wax is totally melted. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the essential oils. If you’re not going to start mixing right away, let the melted oils and wax sit in the water bath, off the heat, so it stays warm. While the wax is melting, pour 2 cups or so of boiling water into a blender to prewarm it. This will stop the wax from solidifying on the blender walls. Measure out 1 cup of room temp water. Be prepared for the next step as it happens quickly.
Empty the boiling water out of the blender or mixing bowl. Pour in the hot oil. Start the blender and pour in the water in a steady stream. I took the top removable plastic handle out of the lid and poured the water in through there.
The oil will turn to cream right away. Some water may not get mixed in and will make the blender “choke”. Stop the blender, scrape down the sides, and start again. Repeat until it is smooth and blended. Stir around to make sure there’s no water hiding in the bottom of the blender. Stop when it is smooth. Store your cream in clean dry jars. The authors note that if you see air pockets in the filled jars, stir to remove the pockets as the cream will keep better that way. We have done two batches to date – one was very creamy and the other was more like a butter. Who knows why they are different, but we have been happy with it either way. I don’t believe I will go back to buying store bought lotion again.
I should add that this recipe was NOT labor intensive. You can start the wax melting and walk away and do other things for a few minutes. I’d say from start to finish, it took us 20 minutes and that whole time we were not standing at the stove or blender.
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This post was shared at Butter Believer’s Sunday School; The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania; The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barn Hop; Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Cooking Traditional Foods’ Traditional Tuesdays; Like a Mustard Seed’s Living Green Tuesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days Sustainable Ways; The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday; Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday; Too Many Jars in My Kitchen’s Fill Those Jars Friday; The 21st Century Housewife’s Gallery of Favorites; Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl Blog Fest;