Today’s make was inspired by these beautiful soapstone keepsake boxes I found while in Santa Fe. They were hand carved in Kenya and are Fair Trade Federation Certified to boot- so many wonderful things to appreciate here. It was love at first sight. I asked the shop keeper if there were more of them, “… possibly in the back?” I walked out with eight of these beauties, and a mind to make them truly useful by filling them with handcrafted lip balms and scented salves. Yuletide season’s gifting complete!
For the lip pots I chose the joyful, heady and mouthwatering grapefruit, and blended it with half as much camphor-like tea tree. This blend will be great for anyone, but will be a boon for those who suffer from fever blisters, as tea tree is anti-viral. In addition, tea tree essential oil is anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal.
This green box in particular I’m keeping for myself as a scent pot. In more familiar terms, it is a solid perfume. I blended together the essential oils of myrrh, which is grounding and warm, and basil, which is somewhat cool and spicy. I’m a fan of finding those fragrance combinations that are out of the norm. This site here, 100% pure essential oils, has a nice breakdown of which essential oils are top notes, which are middle notes, and which are base. It can be a good guide on your blending journey.
*As a general guide, one needs a 1:2 ratio of wax to oils. You can experiment from there based on how you’d like to use your balm or salve.*
1 ounce 100% pure beeswax
4 T olive oil
4T shea butter
essential oils of your choice
I’ll start off by mentioning that most people use a double boiler method for this, and I’d recommend it (because I don’t want you to scald your materials and blame me 🙂 ). To do this you’ll need a medium sized saucepan and a smaller pyrex, glass, or enamel bowl, measuring cup or a smaller saucepan. Measuring cups are nice because you can hang them on the lip of the saucepan, but do be careful that water doesn’t find its way into the bowl. This will ruin your balm or salve, causing mold.
First fill the saucepan about 3/4 full, or perhaps a bit less, with water and heat the water. Once the water is hot enough, place the smaller bowl into the water. Place your beeswax in to melt first. It will take the longest to melt. Once melted, add in your shea butter. Wait until it is melted and then add the olive oil. Mix well with a spoon so that you know your oils and wax are thoroughly combined. At this point I like to run a test. I’ll get a spoonful of my salve and put it in the freezer. This ensures the salve is the exact consistency you are looking for. If it is too soft, add more wax. Too hard, add more oils. Finally, add in your essential oils. Reheating after you’ve added your essential oils will cause them to diffuse, as is their nature. SO, it is always good to do a test spoon first.
Pour or spoon your balm into the pots, tins, or tubes you’ve chosen as the container. Mountainroseherbs.com has some great selections! This is also the place I will point you to for purchasing all the items you will need for this project. Pouring the oils in will yield a cleaner looking pour than spooning. Make sure to keep the lids off until they are completely cooled, as covering them can cause condensation, and then, the dreaded mold.
Happy balming! Let me know how your lip pots and scent pots turn out, what essential oil combinations you love, and what beautiful containers you found! I love to hear from you!