Transitioning Into Winter & A Simple DIY Project

Well my friends, now that we’re nearing November and the growing season is over, it’s time to transition out of the garden and into the home.   Everything has its season, and as the days get short, dark and cold, it’s time to move inside and enjoy the warmth of home and family.  Typically, late fall and early winter is when I begin fiber work, making homemade soaps, sewing, crafting, quilting and DIY so in that spirit, it’s time to transition this blog to winter as well.   We’re going to continue with the “Waste Not! ” series (as I believe reducing kitchen waste is worth our time, attention and effort) and there will be a scattering of a few of our favorite recipes here and there, but I think it’s time to settle down and begin working on some simple, wintertime projects.

Over the coming dark months, I plan on tackling DIYs that I think you’ll love.  We’ll use this time to rediscover simple heirloom skills that will nurture your home and family, starting today with homemade lotion bars.

 

I discovered these fun little lotion bars a few weeks ago purely on accident.  I wanted to use the beeswax we cleaned out of our hives to make some non-toxic scented melts for our home.  I melted coconut oil, beeswax and essential oils into muffin tins and ended up with pretty wonderful-smelling wax…but it wasn’t til my mama was fussing about her chapped cheeks that I had an epiphany.  Not only did our wax melts smell amazing, they would be very soothing on her skin as well.   She tried it and called early the next morning to let me know that her skin had healed overnight and was smooth as a baby’s butt!  Can’t get a better endorsement than your mama’s, right?

Now here’s the thing:  I’ve only begun dabbling in EOs quite recently and I can’t answer whether or not they’ll be a life changer for you.  I don’t know if there’s actual measureable science behind the various claims or whether it’s all snake oil.  What I CAN tell you is that any opportunity we have to use all natural products and purge toxic ones from our homes, well, there’s no reason not to pursue that!  These are the same products that have been used for hundreds or thousands of years to naturally light our homes, soften and protect our skin, preserve food and treat illnesses, so why not use them in our homes too? Let’s get started now!

Here’s what you need for lotion bars!

  1. Natural beeswax such as  Beesworks® BEESWAX PELLETS, YELLOW, 1lb-Pesticide Free-Chemical Free-Cosmetic Grade-Must Have For Many Different Projects.  You need something that isn’t laden with pesticides or bleached and the pellets will make the measuring and melting process much easier for you!  The beeswax will give your lotion bar “body” and help it to set up firm.
  2. Coconut oil such as Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Unrefined Cold Pressed Coconut Oil for Hair, Skin and Cooking, 14 Ounce.  Coconut oil will provide a bit of natural fragrance and will melt almost immediately on your skin.
  3. Essential oils.  You have a whole range of options here, both brand and scent, so I’ll just say that I’m loving Plant Therapy EOs.  They’re reasonably priced, pure and smell amazing!  This one sounds like autumn in a bottle to me: Plant Therapy Holiday Season Synergy Essential Oil Blend. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade. Blend of: Sweet Orange, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger and Nutmeg. 10 mL (1/3 Ounce).
  4. Something to mold the wax in like Freshware SL-118RD 8-Cavity Silicone Mold – Oval, ice cube trays or mini-muffin liners such as Fox Run 4997 White Bake Cups, Petit Four, 100 Cups.
  5. A double boiler or clean tin cans

Here’s how you do it!

To make a batch of these bars, add 1 ounce of beeswax and a scant half cup of coconut oil to your double boiler or clean tin cans and set over a simmering pot of water.  (Be careful and don’t give yourself a steam burn here!)  The coconut oil will melt immediately, but the beeswax will take a bit of time.

Stir frequently with a disposable spoon til the wax is melted; remove from heat.  Carefully add up to 40 drops of essential oil to the melted wax/oil; this may vary according to the strength of the oils that you’re using.  Judge accordingly.  Stir to incorporate the oils and wax.  Using a pot holder, slowly pour the mixture into the mold of your choice and allow to cool.

When the wax is completely cooled, remove from the mold and store in a cool, dry place in an airtight package.  When you’re ready to use, simply hold it in your hands for a moment or two til the wax begins to soften and melt.  Gently rub the oils into your skin and enjoy the amazing fragrance!

BONUS!

Like I stated earlier, these bars are also fantastic in a wax warmer!  The beeswax and coconut oil provide a naturally “sweet” aroma and are perfect carriers for the EO of your choosing.  As they’re completely non-toxic, you don’t have to worry about odd chemicals polluting your home air quality.  And what I really love is that you can tailor the fragrance to your mood; lavender to relax at bedtime, peppermint to pick you up in the morning, delicious seasonal scents like cinnamon and nutmeg to help you enjoy the autumn, rosemary and citrus for savory winter fragrances.  Love that!  Personally, I prefer the plug-in wax warmers like this Candle Warmers Etc. Pluggable Fragrance Warmer, Mason Jar because I can plug it into a high outlet that the children and pets are less likely to reach.  And it’s a Mason jar, so…..!

I hope you enjoyed this little DIY!  It may be the GenX in me, but I love projects like these bars that are ready to go in 20 minutes!  There’s a time and place for long, elaborate projects, but there’s great satisfaction in holding a finished product in your hand in a short period of time.  I’m already mulling over the next quick DIY….can’t wait to share it with you!  Til next time!

 

Posted to Simple Life Mom Homestead Blog Hop!

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Andrea,
    I love you DIY soap recipe. I love coconut oil for the skin – I use it daily as a moisturizer. This sure would be a great gift idea for friends and relatives. Sharing on twitter & pinning. Congratulations on being featured on Homestead blog hop. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day.

    1. Thank you, Marla! I love coconut oil for moisturizer too, but I think the addition of beeswax kicks it up a notch, especially in this cold, windy weather we’re experiencing right now. It’s just an extra layer of protection against the elements!

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