Herbal Bath Salts

Are you about to have a bumper crop of lavender or peppermint? No idea what to do with it? Why not whip up some bath salts so you can repair those tired feet after a day in the garden or give a gift to a fellow gardener or two? It’s super easy, and inexpensive to boot.

Materials:

Epsom or sea salts (our local dollar store carries quart boxes of epsom salts for $1)

Lavender or peppermint (or any other herb of your choice) blossoms/leaves

Lavender or peppermint (or again, any scent of your choice) essential oil (depending on the scent you choose, expect to pay from $3- $8 for a small bottle, but this will last you quite a while and make a ton of bath salts)

Instructions:

It’s super simple–  mix your herbs into the salts, add a few drops of essential oil for stronger fragrance, and package. Voila– instant bath salts!

Bath salts make an excellent gift, and can easily be tailored to the recipient by choosing fragrances they like. It can be a more elaborate gift by packaging the salts with complimentary hand-milled or glycerin soaps, home made candles and/or lip balms and lotions. Tuck in some good books or zines and you’ve got a weekend relaxation kit. Tuck in some gardening supplies, and you’ve got a gardener’s gift set. Something so simple as bath salts can be turned into a fantastic, customized gift that your recipient will love because you put some thought into what they like.

To make bath salts as a gift special, I like to put some thought into the packaging. Scouring thrift stores and yard sales is the best way to do this– I look for small and large corked bottles, old-fashioned sugar shakers, and small and large apothecary jars. I’ve found all of the above second-hand for about a $1 a piece. Canning jars can also work in a pinch, and lend a bit of down-home charm. In terms of packaging the entire gift, I like to think of containers that are more creative than your typical rattan basket. Wooden quart strawberry boxes, mini bushel baskets with a handle, ceramic or terra cotta pots or cigar boxes are all good choices, but really anything can work. Also keep your theme in mind– bath products that are scented with cinnamon or lemon-verbana would look really good in a milk glass baking dish or mixing bowl, especially if you’re gift giving to a cook. The possibilities are endless!

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