The holidays are closing in fast at this point- Hanukkah begins tonight, in fact. I’ve got another simple, yet lovely, homemade gift idea for you, though…one you can throw together in a flash.

Making your own bath salts to give away is fun and pretty inexpensive, and you can buy all the ingredients you need at your local health food store and/or supermarket. It only take moments to mix everything together, but the ease with which these bath salts are made belies how wonderful they make you feel. These bath salts have moisturizing, soothing properties, and they’ll leave your “giftees” feeling completely pampered.

The basic bath salts recipe I am providing, adapted just a bit from EcoBeauty, makes a large batch- enough to fill at least 6 pint sized glass jars. I divided mine up and added crushed dried rose petals to half, and dried thyme leaves to the other. If you don’t fancy the idea of bathing in the presence of flowers or herbs, though (I won’t judge), then leave them out.

You can feel free to color the bath salts with a small amount of food coloring, if you like: I’d use yellow with the lemon essential oil (or have fun with your own coloring/scent combinations). Note that the authors of EcoBeauty suggest coloring the bath salts red or green (or try layering the two) if giving as a Christmas gift. You could go with blue (or layered blue and white) if giving as a Hanukkah gift, or use whatever color(s) suit your mood and/or spiritual bent. If using food coloring, you’ll want to add just a few drops, mix, then add a bit more, if needed, to deepen the color(s).

I am giving these bath salts to some of my favorite people, and I’m keeping some for myself, as well. I hope you do the same.

Homemade Lemon-Scented Bath Salts

Yield: 12 cups bath salts

Ingredients:

*8 cups Epsom salts
*4 cups Kosher salt
*about 8 tablespoons sweet almond oil (I use NOW brand, available at natural foods stores)- optional (adds moisture to the bath salts)
*about 40 drops pure lemon (or other) essential oil (I use NOW brand, available at natural foods stores)
*6-8 tablespoons of dried herbs or crushed flower petals (ex. lavender, thyme, mint, lemon balm, rose, calendula)

Directions:

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until everything is well blended, then spoon into sterile jars or other gift containers.

2. Label the jars, and attach a note directing your recipient how to use the bath salts (pour 1/2 cup under hot water while running the bath). The bath salts can also be dissolved in hot water for a soothing foot soak.

Adapted a bit from EcoBeauty