Saturday, December 27, 2014

DIY Lotion Bars

These little lotion bars were my last DIY Christmas project for this year.   There are recipes for lotion bars all over Pinterest, but I used the one found here  at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity and recommended by my friend, Jeanne.   I also copied her idea to use the candy molds - I'm not proud.

Here is the basic recipe:
One part beeswax ( available online at Amazon  as well as at Michaels and Joanne's.  
One part almond oil ( I had some left over from another project)
One part coconut oil ( some I bought to get on the coconut oil  bandwagon and never did)

Now if you read the comments on Frugal by Choice, there was some confusion about what "one part" means.  So while I'm sure you all know,  it just means equal parts of the three ingredients.   That said, I did not do any real measuring ; I eyeballed the amount of melted beeswax and estimated how much it was in cups and then used that amount for each of the other ingredients.   The piece of beeswax I hacked off melted to about 1/3 of a cup, so I ended up with approximately one cup of the melted wax and oil mixture ,  enough to fill about 15 of the candy molds.  Pretty sure a little more or less of any ingredient isn't going to matter much.

First, you melt the beeswax,   You could do this in a double boiler ( which you then would have to save for future wax projects or spend hours getting all the wax out - too much work!).   I had a small crock pot Ive used to melt wax for encaustic projects, and it worked perfectly for melting beeswax.  Melt the beeswax, then add the almond oil and coconut oil and heat until the mixture is clear.

This is where you could add fragrance - a few drops of your favorite essential oil.   I thought it best to stick to scent-less for gifting since since  fragrance  is tricky ; one woman's "love it" is another's "stinky, stinky".  No added scent also means  no worries about the lotion bar chasing with your favorite perfume.

I used these small cookie molds from Joanne's because they fit the metal tins I bought and after all, I was copying Jeanne.    You could use small silicone muffin pans, or larger cookie molds, or soap molds, or as one creative person did,  fill empty deodorant containers.  This seems like a great idea - not much in the gift-giving presentation, but it makes an easy applicator, especially for kiddos.

Here are the molds, filled with the hot wax/oil mixture. 

And here they are after just 15 minutes of hanging out on the counter.  Beautiful, off-white goodness.

So far, so good.   Then I tried to pop the bars out - D.I.A.S.T.E.R.   One or two come out fine, and then not so much - the bars stuck, leaving behind half of the design stuck in the mold.   I was so frazzled I shoved them in the fridge and chose not to think about them for a few days.   Then I looked online to find the recommendation to put them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so before trying to unmold.    DUH!   But it turns out mine had cooled enough during their banishment to the fridge and they popped right out of the molds.  YIPPEE SKIPPEE.

I ordered the tins from Amazon - they are a bit big for the bars, but close enough.   I like that you can see the design though the lid.   Some people pack them in muffin papers, then wrap with plastic wrap tied with a ribbon for gifting.   

So to use these bars, hold the bar in your hands to warm it a bit , then rub the bar on your hands, arms, legs - you know how to do this.    These are great moisturizing bars with no ingredients you can't pronounce, spell or find.   

I'm storing the extras in the fridge just to be sure they stay firm.   I do have one from Jeanne in my purse and it's fine - no melting, but we do live in the frozen Northeast.  I'd guess the bars might go all melty in a hot car, but what doesn't?

The solid bars are  convenient to use,  full of serious moisturizing power and  easy- peasy to make.   All that and pretty, too - what's not to like?

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