Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Make Homemade Lotion Bars


It's just around the corner.

You know what it is.

It's time to put our thinking caps on to dream up creative, inexpensive, useful and lovely gifts for people we love.

I have seen these lotion bars in malls and craft fairs and I thought they were so clever. However, some of them were up to $20 each and I'm certain they weren't made from wholesome ingredients either! So a few weeks ago while making soap, one of my daughters and I got our nerve up to try making some lotion bars. We need not have been nervous. These are so incredibly simple.

Here is all you need
Equal parts of:
shea butter or cocoa butter
beeswax
coconut oil (or any vegetable oil, such as avocado, almond, etc.)

Melt the beeswax slowly in a double boiler. Once melted, add the other oils and some fragrance, drop by drop, until you have the desired aroma. The mixture will begin hardening as soon as it cools, so pour it into molds right away. Let it cool then pop out of the molds.

Compare those ingredients to these in a typical store-bought lotion:




How To Use

Remove the lotion bar from the tin or bag you're keeping it in. Your natural body heat will start to melt the bar immediately. Yes, it does feel greasy at first because it's the real deal! But unlike most lotions, you want these oils to absorb into your skin. You won't feel greasy for long :) Use the bar on hands, heels, elbows; just anywhere.

Lots of fun, little hands can help, and my favorite-- no lye or curing involved! These cost about $2-$3 each to make, depending on your oils, and they would make lovely Christmas gifts.

*We're not sure how we want to package them. Somehow I don't think they will have quite the same effect if we give them in a ziplock bag. Any ideas?










*Update:  The best way we have found to package our lotion bars has been in a foil cupcake liner.  I found some zebra print cupcake liners at a craft store, wrapped the bars in cellophane and tied with a hot pink ribbon.  Turned out really great!  We took these lotion bars, our turkey cake balls and a big supply of our Lilla Rose flexi-clips to a craft fair and did very well.



Click here to shop beautiful Lilla Rose or learn how to make an easy income from home, as I do.








Growing Home, Domestically Divine, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Tasty Tuesday

74 comments:

  1. I will definitely be trying these! Thanks for the recipe, Bambi!

    Packaging ideas? Cellophane bags tied with raffia or twine an a little tag would look cute. :-)

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    Replies
    1. I am thinking of using washed out push up deodorant containers. You can make your own label. If this lotion dissolves with your body heat, just smooth it on where you want it without mess.

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  2. Thank you for the recipe. Tin cans would be great like some from this site: http://www.allstatecan.com/allstatecan/scripts/default.asp?content=home

    I'm sure you can find them most any where.

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  3. Where have I been that I have never heard of these? Neat gift idea! I was thinking cellophane bags also, with pretty Christmas ribbon and a tag.

    Where do you order your supplies?

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  4. Good ideas! Jill, I got most of it at Hobby Lobby. I did get the Coconut Oil from Camden Grey Oils, but you know that can be found at a health store anywhere.

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  5. Bambi,
    I have put all my homemade lotions, balms, etc., into little tins. They also have galss jars and such. This place has great prices: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/supply/tins.html
    Blessings,
    Suzanne

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  6. I, too, have never seen these! I LOVE the idea of having a good, safe balm for my hands, esp. in this upcoming winter. It's a wonderful gift idea, Bambi, and Mountain rose herbs tins are reasonable at ~ .65 cents each. Blessings...and thank you for linking up :)

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  7. Oh, I JUST LOVE this! I'll definitely be giving this a try! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

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  8. Thanks for the recipe, Bambi. I have tried this recipe myself. I love it.

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  9. Thanks very much! I made mine from yellow bees wax, cocoa butter, and olive oil. I was planning to add lavender essential oil, but the honey and chocolate smelled so nice on their own that I left it out.
    I used waxed-paper favor holders roughly the same size as cupcakes but sturdier from the dollar store (16 per pack) as my molds, and also stuck a foam sticker shape on the bottom of each to leave a pretty shape on the finished bar. I am quite happy with them!

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  10. I've never seen these before, but they look nice. Thanks for sharing. As for packaging, how about wrapping it in a lace doily and ribbon?

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  11. Bambi I am so glad to find this on Pinterest. I have used the lotion bars from Lush and wanted to find a recipe to make them myself......so BIG THANK YOU.

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  12. Wrapping them in waxed paper (brown parchment) OR actual wax paper and then wrapping that in a lovely fabric or patterned paper with some twine tied around would be lovely, easy, and fairly cheap. Thanks for the recipe!

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  13. This is such a great idea! Do you think these would unpeel from cupcake tin liners very easily? I think these would be darling in a decorative cupcake liner (which might also help give it a ridged texture on the side to help keep the bar from slipping from your fingers) and packaged in a cute little glassine paper bag stitched closed. You could even catch a decorative tag or ribbon under the stitching! If you were to give it a gourmand scent, you could even give these away as "lotion cupcakes" or something cutesy like that!

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    Replies
    1. The cupcake liners work perfectly. They peel away easily from the bars (I guess since the bars are primarily made of oil, nothing sticks to them), and you get cute crinkly edges to your bars.

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  14. If they fit you could put several into your jars you've been saving from jams and sauces that you have painted the lids and attached cute tags.

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  15. I love this idea. I was just thinking IF this is put in the wrong place it will melt and get EVERYTHING oily. So packageing idea is....although most of the baby food fed to my kids was homemade I did get some from Wal-mart. But theres comes in small plastic tubs with nice lids. I reuse the containers a lot around here. I am sure you can put the oil in the muffin tins and then transfer it to the container. I may need to make this for Christmas too. How much does this make?

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  16. I love the idea of this and intend on making some for Christmas gifts and pair the them with bath salts of the same scent. I like the wax paper wrapping idea too. Also add paper ribbon made with border punches. Thank's for sharing.

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  17. When you say "equal parts" of Beeswax and Cocoa Butter, is that when melted?

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    1. The idea is to use 3 different melting points in your barsl. The beeswax is very solid at room temp. The shea or coconut or cocoa butters are soft but still not liquid. The olive, almond, or other oils are liquid at room temp. I use equal weights of all 3, using a kitchen scale. I also puncture about 10 or 12 vitamin E capsules and add the liquid inside. 3 or 4 ounces of each ingredient makes enough for quite a few of the mini muffin size. How many drops of essential oil to add depends on the brand you buy and how strong you want the scent.

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  18. for containers look at www.specialtybottle.com

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  19. What a great blog you have! Thank you for sharing the lotion bars recipe. I definitely will be giving it a go.

    Question ... what is the shelf life for these lotion bars?

    Thanks!

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  20. I've made these for several years. I buy CHEAP wax paper at the dollar store or buy a tracing paper pad at Michael's or Hobby Lobby and cut a circle about 2-3" bigger than the body butter. Place the bb in the center of the paper and pull the paper up and over to the center of the top of the disc. Continue all the way around, making tiny folds as you go around. Use a little piece of tape to keep the paper in place. Use a paper punch to cut a big round or scalloped circle on label paper (got some old floppy disk labels at the dollar store for these) and slap the label on top of the tape.

    You can print anything you like on the label paper for your label and then center your paper punch over the writing.

    Next step....post a pic so I can see! :)

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  21. If these were made in a muffin tin, I think they'd look great in those little individual cupcake boxes, if you wanted to fancy 'em up a little. Put a little crinkle paper in the bottom of the box and tuck the LB in on top.

    Or, put them in the fancy cupcake wrappers and then into a clear cellophane bag with a matching ribbon.

    Google 'cupcake boxes' and you're on your way! :o)

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  22. Such a net idea. I think it'd be fun to put them into little cake forming tins, or little candie trays. Maybe using holiday molds to spice things up. Sounds like fun!

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  23. My thought is try to find (or wash and reuse) a deodorant stick. That way you can hold it to use it and your hands won't get slippery, it has a cap, it can be twisted up to keep using it.

    Going to save mine and try it :)
    Thanks for the idea!

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  24. This is a really great idea for an inexpensive gift for any occassion. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

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  25. I just found this idea; so clever! I'm sending along another site as a suggestion for packaging: all you need is a ziploc and a little scrapbooking paper and it looks so put together!

    http://dcwvinc.blogspot.com/2011/04/note-on-kindness.html

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  26. Hiya! I was just wondering- is it better to use a mix of cocoa & shea butter, or can I use just shea? I know shea is a softer butter, but I was trying to get out of ordering both.

    Thanks for your time, and thanks for sharing! I'll be making these this weekend. :D

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  27. I bought some small china saucers at Goodwill that I placed the lotion bar on, then wrapped in celaphane tied together with ribbon on top where I pulled it together with a pretty tag. I thought this way there is someplace to set the lotion bar when not in use.

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  28. Bambi ~

    Great idea and recipe sounds ultra simple...love the pure nature of it!

    As to Nancy's comment...LOVE the saucer idea...Goodwill or any thrift store save bunches, while giving the body bar a very feminine resting place AND the wrapping then becomes practical AND pretty!

    I think these would make not only great Christmas gifts, but nice favors at a baby or bridal shower, Mother's Day Tea or other special tea, young ladies birthday party favor, etc.

    Thanks again for the idea and recipe!

    Blessings in Him,

    Jarnette @ Seasons of Life

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  29. Wrap in some cute paper then put in mason jars and decorate the jar . With a cute label & some ribbions!

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  30. Thanks for the tip, I make homemade soaps and I wrap them in little baskets, and then I just put them in celophane bags with a nice bow.

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  31. How about putting the lotion in icecube trays/chocolate forms for individualy use? Then put a bunch in a mason jars or large tin.

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  32. In a cellophane bag inserted in a Chinese food container (Smart and Final). You can put a cool sticker sealing the closure of the box.

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  33. What about maybe the mini muffin tin or silicone molds? This way they are a one-time use all-over body moisturizer. I will be trying this and giving as gifts this Christmas. Thanks for the great idea :)

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  34. I've been making varieties of these and lip balms for years. Havent quite figured out packing either. I tried foodsaver sealing. I like placing them on small glass votive dish and wrap with colored celophane. You can buy small jars with covers to pour right in, but I love holding my bar and being able rub it wherever.

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  35. You could put them into a cupcake foil/paper and wrap in cellophane with a cute ribbon! like a little cupcake

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  36. I would use cute cupcake liners or doilies and then put them in a mini basket or festive tins.
    Thank you for this recipe! I'm excited to try it. :)

    We did soap disks one year. We make them in the cupcake tins, then put them in the cupcake liners. We put mini loofahs on top of them and wrapped them in cellophane. They looked like bathtub cupcakes. I don't know what you would use at the top part of the cupcake, but this idea could work with these lotion bars.

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  37. Awesome idea! For packaging how about cookie bags that they sell at Dollar Tree tied with a pretty ribbon? :)

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    Replies
    1. Silicone muffin cups. Hold the bottom of the cup while spreading over skin

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  38. are you using solid cocoa butter? or the lotion kind? this is such a great idea, i can't wait to try it out! :)

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  39. Giving this a try! A great handmade gift for neighbors, co-workers and friends.
    thank you,
    CoCo in Bonita

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  40. Where can you get Cocoa Butter? I know the lotion is in most stores, is that what you are using? The lotion, like Palmers?

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  41. I ordered all my supplies from amazon. I also used a silicone heart shaped cupcake liner I bought from Michaels craft store. It turned out really good. I used Shea butter and coconut butter. One thing that I did read is to put all your ingredients into an empty mason jar then put that jar into the boiling pot of water. Every few minutes take the jar out and shake it. It worked so much better and way less of a mess. So much better. Still working on my packaging but I'm handing these out for Christmas.

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  42. I put all the ingredients in a lined crock pot. Left them for few hours. Stirred well and voila! Poured into silicone and let cool. Worked great.

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  43. I would LOVE to make these! Where can i find beeswax at?

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    Replies
    1. Either a natural food store or Amazon

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  44. I am excited to try these! Can anyone give me an idea of how much of each ingredient I will need to make enough for 4 people/bars?

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  45. I never have heard of lotion bars. Love the idea, a hope to try making in the near future. Found a picture on Pinterest and followed it back to your page. Thanks for the recipe and idea. I like the idea of holiday muffin/cupcake liners.

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  46. I made these today.using a metal bowl over a pot in place of a double boiler. I found the beeswax impossible to cut so I put it in whole and it melted just fine. I used 1/2 pound of everything and got 13 cupcake sized bars. I poured them into a metal muffin tin and then put it outside in the cold to freeze. They pooped right out. I then put them into silverr cupcake liners, gathered saran wrap around them and tied it at the top with Christmas ribbon and will make a small card to attach stating what it is. I made them with a couple of people in mind, but think I will pass the rest out randomly. Thanks for the great idea.

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  47. I love this idea...but do you think they will turn to liquid in the summer when my house warms up?

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  48. I modge podge some very small plastic containers/lids with colorful tissue paper to put my lotion bars in. I do have a question i have not had any luck with putting honey in mine because it always seperates on me, any tips ??

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  49. Okay, I can't describe how impressed I am with this recipe. I just made this over my stove top with minimal dish washing to be done and in under 30 minutes. Super-uber easy! I poured the mixture into small half ounce tins with screw lids for bridal shower favors! I'm so proud of them, but credit must be given to this blog and your creativity! Thanks so much!

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    1. I realize this is an old post, but I'm wondering if you poured the mixture directly into the tins, and if so, how did you get the bar out afterwards? I tried this and the rings on the screw top prevented the bar from sliding out. I was wondering if I heated the tin if the lotion bar would melt enough on the sides to get it to slide out and still look good (unlike digging it out which makes it look horrible :o)

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    2. i put my mold in the freezer for about 5 minutes and they come right out!!

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  50. This recipe sounds perfect! If I wanted to make them scented with essential oils, how many drops would you suggest I add of the essential oil?

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  51. This seems way to simple. I will definitely be giving it a try. I may pick up some tins to keep them in that way if need be it is ready for an impromptu gift.

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  52. Is the coconut oil that is found in the baking isle at the store different than what you would get at the health store? Could you use the coconut oil from the grocery store for this recipe?

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  53. I would wrap them in a clear plastic wrap with a ribbon.

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  54. Thank you for posting this recipe. I spend a fortune at lush. Does you have any recipes for different scents? I love Lush's strawberry lotion bar. I also am in love with cake batter scents, any ideas?

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  55. I love these! I have different sized and shaped silicone cupcake molds, and then give them as gifts in an appropriate sized mason jar. World Market has quiet a few sizes to choose from and all .99 cents to about $2 each

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  56. I was wondering if you could just use coconut oil instead of the shea butter? What type of fragrance do you use and were do you get it? Thanks so much for your time!

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  57. Do you think you could use the Cake Pop molds so they would be round?

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  58. These sound great! I was thinking of using Cake Pop molds. I wonder if it will work. If it does I even think ToysRUs has different shapes for cake pop molds.

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  59. I accidentally bought shea butter soap, could I use it, or should I take it back?

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  60. Beeswax has a high melting point, arnd 65 degrees C. So if you increase the ratio of beeswax the bar may stay a lil more solid in your hands

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  61. I would wrap them in cello, put them in a cupcake wrapper, and wrap up a pair of fuzzy socks place them on top so it looks like a cupcake :)

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  62. Hi!

    How much of each ingrident would I need to make enough bars (cupcake tin sized) for about 15 people? I plan to buy off Amazon unless someone knows of a better deal! :)

    thanks!!

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  63. I made these for gifts last year. BIG hit ! I scoured the local thrift shops. Found lovely vintage dessert/bread plates. Laid each bar ( made in a rose mold) on a plate. Wrapped with cello wrap and tied with decorator twine.

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  64. What types of coconut or almond oil did you use? Solid or liquid?
    Also what type of cocoa butter?

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  65. Love this!!!!!! Will be making it for Christmas gifts! Thanks so much for the recipe.
    Love and prayers,

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  66. Thesage.com (MMS or Mystic Mountain Sage) has all the ingredients, as well as some packaging supplies, you need to make these. I have made these before, and love them. I made mine at least 3 years ago, and still have a couple left. They still work well, but I don't care for how they smell now. I didn't scent the original batch, but will be using Pina Smoothie from the site I listed here for a tropical pineapple-coconut smell for the next batch - making 30 for a girls weekend spa bag gift. I used the shea butter/virgin coconut oil/beeswax combo and a metal cupcake tin. Love them!

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  67. I just bought one of these on Etsy. Would love to make them myself. Do you melt the shea or coconut butter in with the beeswax?
    Thank you for sharing!

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