, , , , , ,

A Note from Jessica: I’m pleased as punch to introduce you to my friend and Theta sister, Whitney. Whitney and I met at Washington State University. As I entered the sorority world, I singled in on Whitney due to her craftiness and gorgeous handwriting (she may have graciously agreed a couple different times over our college years to do some hand lettering projects for my poem books!). Today, Whit will be sharing an easy-breezy DIY gift which would be perfect for Christmas and can literally be put together in a matter of hours (from shopping to packaging). Welcome to HBH, Whit!How excited am I to guest post on Homewares by Hand?  Pretty excited, actually.  I’ve been a dedicated reader of HBH from the start and am lucky to call Jessica one of my most favorite friends.  Jessica and I get together with two more of our friends (Hi, E & D!) once a month to eat, talk, eat, eat, talk, drink wine, talk and eat – usually in that order – and this month we got in the Christmas spirit with drinks at the fabulous Fairmont Hotel in downtown Seattle.  We usually have a strict no-gift policy for these events, but with friends as sweet as these girls it’s hard not to bring something.  This year I decided to bring homemade sugar scrub – it’s simple to make and wonderful to use. A little mason jar filled with this delicious-smelling scrub makes a perfect holiday gift, especially if you’re like me and, um, tend to put your holiday shopping off to the, uh, last minute.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups raw sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • A good quality olive oil
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • 4 pint-sized glass jars with lids
  • Scrapbook paper and double-stick tape
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Glittery chipboard letters or other embellishments (optional)

How to make:

How much sugar, oil and vanilla you use depends on how much scrub you want to make and what size jars you’re using.  I’m not terribly exact in the kitchen (which explains most of my baking disasters) and I’ve found that sugar scrub can be quite forgiving, so don’t worry too much about perfect measurements.  Here’s the basic formula I used to fill four pint-sized mason jars:

  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups raw sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ of a cup (or so) of good quality olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (or so) of pure vanilla extract
  • A drizzle of honey
  • 4 pint-sized glass jars with lids

1. Mix four cups of white sugar with four cups of raw sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Stir with a wooden spoon until blended.

2. Mix in one cup of brown sugar into sugar mixture.  To make sure there are no clumps in the brown sugar, I’ve found mixing with my hands at this stage is easiest.  And fabulous.

3. Drizzle olive oil and vanilla over sugar mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.  I begin with about a three-quarters of a cup of olive oil and a tablespoon of vanilla and add more a little at a time until the sugar mixture reaches the consistency of slightly damp sand and has a faint vanilla smell.  Feel free to adjust the oil and vanilla levels to meet your personal taste, however; less oil will make a grittier scrub and more oil will make the scrub more of a moisturizer.  It’s all up to you.   For what it’s worth, I went for the middle of the road with both the oil and the vanilla and was quite happy with the results.

4. Once the sugar, oil and vanilla have been combined, drizzle a few tablespoons of honey into the mixture and stir to incorporate.

5. Fill mason jars with the scrub, gently tapping the jar on the counter (put a towel down first) to settle the contents as you go.

How to embellish: 

Once again, personal taste takes over on decorating the jars. I pulled all of the supplies I needed from my personal hoard collection of paper goods, but just about anything will work; there really is no way to make these cute little jars look bad.

To embellish the jars as pictured, however, you’ll need:

  • Scrapbook paper and double-stick tape
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Glittery chipboard letters

Trace an outline of the metal lid on your paper.  Cut the circle out and fix to the lid with the double-stick tape.  Place the lid on the jar and screw on the outer ring.

2. Punch a hole in the chipboard letter with a small hole punch and thread on to your ribbon or twine.

3. Tie the ribbon or twine around your jar and give. Watch smiles ensue.

That’s it.  Honestly.  I told you it was simple.  Because you’re using raw ingredients, I usually remind the recipient to use the scrub within a month or so – but such a yummy gift usually doesn’t last that long.  And to answer my husband’s question – and probably yours – yes, you can eat it.  I’m just not sure why you’d want to.

A big thanks to you for reading my first-ever blog post and an even bigger thanks to Jessica for inviting me to share on HBH (and for being such a wonderful friend).  Merry Christmas, all!




What’s the best handmade gift you’ve received?