Everything checked off on your gift list this holiday season?
Have no fear! Green Queen Jennifer Hankey is here!
The DIY expert shared all natural recipes and homemade gift ideas with Christine on 'Atlanta & Company'.
Get inspired here and watch ATL & Co. weekdays at 11:00 on 11Alive and streaming.
Straight from the Green Queen:
1. DIY lotion bars
Amazing, moisturizing lotion bars can be used a million ways for an array of benefits! Here is the basic recipe!This is the base for homemade natural lotion bars; feel free to experiment and change it up!
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup shea butter, cocoa butter, or mango butter (or a mix of all three)
1 cup beeswax
optional: essential oils of choice
optional: 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Combine all ingredients (except essential oils if using) in a double boiler or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it. Combine ingredients in a quart-size glass mason jar and place jar in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out!
Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth.
Remove from heat, let cool a bit, and add any desired essential oils and/or vitamin E.
Gently stir by hand until essential oils are incorporated.
Carefully pour into molds or whatever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden in (ideas below). I used silicone baking cups for easy removal, though any mold would work.
Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds. These could be made in different shaped molds for different holiday gifts (hearts for Valentine’s Day, flowers for Mother’s Day, etc.) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.
There are endless ways to adapt this lotion bar recipe too. Here are just a few of the ways to customize a lotion bar: ( I will have each of these options the ingredients out to show and talk about for a second)Mix and match essential oils for various scents or skin benefits (we love lavender and lemon)
Add zinc oxide to make a natural diaper rash bar
Mix in menthol and arnica for a pain-relieving sore muscle or wound treatment
Add odor-fighting probiotics for a homemade deodorant stick
Add argan oil for stretch marks
Toss in some cocoa powder and natural mineral makeup powder for a bronzing bar!
And the list keeps going!
2. DIY baby diaper cream
Diaper Cream Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon calendula flowers
1 tablespoon chamomile flowers
1/4 cup shea butter (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs because it is raw and unrefined so it has anti-fungal properties)
Optional: 1 tsp arrowroot or zinc oxide powder or more to thicken if needed- these will add additional drying power for really bad rashesHow to Make Natural Diaper Cream
Heat a couple inches of water over medium high heat in a double boiler or small sauce pan. Melt the coconut oil in a glass bowl or double boiler top above the boiling water. Add the calendula and chamomile flowers and keep the heat going on low/medium for at least an hour or until coconut oil has started to turn yellow and smells of chamomile and calendula. Make sure to check the water level often and make sure it hasn’t gotten too hot or evaporated off.
Carefully strain the flowers out, reserving as much of the coconut oil as possible. A fine mesh metal strainer is best for this, or a cheesecloth will work, though you’ll lose more of the coconut oil. Make sure all visible pieces of the flower have been removed.
Using a small immersion blender or even a fork to mash, mix the infused coconut oil with the shea butter and arrowroot or zinc oxide if using until it forms a thick paste. I actually have a small food processor I use for this mixture (and not for food) and when mixed in a food processor it makes an airy, velvety cream.
Store in a small glass jar and apply as needed. Use a liner with cloth diapers. This is much more concentrated and effective than store-bought versions and a little goes a really long way! It can also be used for adult yeast infections or for healing of the perineum postpartum.Why These Ingredients?
- Coconut oil is very effective on its own for treating rash, as it is anti-fungal and very soothing to skin.
- Calendula has antibacterial properties and speeds skin healing while Chamomile has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties and is especially helpful for diaper rashes.
- Shea Butter, besides making the skin incredibly soft, has anti-fungal and yeast-killing properties when raw. It is high in Vitamins A and E and helps promote collagen production in the skin. It is naturally anti-inflammatory and has an SPF of 6. It also helps prevent and get rid of stretch marks.
3. Homemade shower/ bath scrub
This is the DIY project for the viewer who REALLY wants to make gifts but just doesn't have any time. You really can do this! It takes less than 2 minutes but it is still homemade and thoughtful!
Epsom/ magnesium sales
Essential oil of your choice
Pour the epsom salts into a beautiful glass container. Decorate it with a bow or other festive decoration with a pretty label. Will with epsom salts. Add 10 drops of your favorite high quality EO. You can mix and match! Done!
You have given a gift of relaxation, health (with the magnesium in the bath) and removed all the chemicals found in traditional bath products!
4. Homemade healthy chocolates
These truffles are mostly healthy, and certainly on the healthier end of the dessert scale. They are perfect for date nights, formal parties, or anytime you want to make chocolate a little healthier. Did I mention they are also super easy?
Delicious homemade chocolate truffles with coconut oil or butter, whipping cream and organic dark chocolate and topped with nuts, toasted coconut or fruit zest.
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (can also use butter)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (organic, not whipped yet)
1 1/4 cups 70% or higher dark chocolate chips
Essential oils of choice (optional): orange, mint or lavender
nuts, toasted coconut, and cocoa powder (optional)Instructions
Melt the coconut oil (or butter) and heavy cream in a pan and bring to a strong simmer
Pour the chocolate in a medium sized bowl and pour the hot oil/cream mixture over the chocolate
Stir slowly with a whisk to incorporate until chocolate is completely melted.
Add 2-3 drops of mint, lavender, or orange essential oil if you want to (mint is really good)
Put bowl in fridge for a couple of hours
When the chocolate mixture has gotten firm, remove the bowl from the fridge and using a spoon or melon spoon, scoop out small amounts of the chocolate mixture.
Roll into 1 inch balls using your hands and then roll in cocoa powder.
Can also drizzle with more melted chocolate and coat with toasted coconut, finely ground nuts, orange zest, etc.