Wednesday, December 8, 2010

{Handmade Teacher Gifts on a Budget}

Squirrel has had a blast attending preschool this year. Unfortunately, because she attends the University's child lab preschool, she can only attend two of the three trimesters, which means her last day of school until April is this week. We wanted to find a nice way to say thanks to her teachers, and also to give a little Christmas cheer, all within our meager budget. So I thought some handmade items were in order. I whipped up a few batches of bath/body care items.

Here's Squirrel, VERY excited to make presents for her teachers, all our materials gathered and ready to go.

We used peppermint essential oil for each of the items, partly for a Christmas-y feel, 
and partly because I just love peppermint! We chose Sunflower Oil because 
I found some cheap at the Dollar Store (olive oil is another great alternative). 

Other items we used: Beeswax, Cornstarch, Powdered Milk, Coconut Oil, 
Candy Canes, Cornstarch, Mango Butter, White Sugar, and Honey. 

We also picked up some small zipper bags and cello sacks at the dollar store, as well as some lip balm tubes (19 cents each) and 1 oz containers (39 cents each) at the local health store. 

First up: Peppermint Milk Bath

1 Cup Powdered Milk
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
5-10 drops of Peppermint EO in a teaspoon of sunflower oil

Add ingredients together, mix, and you're done! 
We poured 1/4 cup milk bath into small baggies for individual baths. 
(This was definitely a mess-maker, but still fun!) 

Next up was Candy Cane Sugar Scrub. 
I decided for fun and color, to use candy canes because they are basically 
just sugar and peppermint oil, exactly what we needed. 
We opened and broke up about a dozen, and then pulverized them in the blender. 

{Candy Cane Dust!}

We used about a cup and a half of Sunflower Oil, and then added the candy cane powder. 
I then added about 2 more cups of white sugar until it was the right consistency. 
(Sugar should be about double the oil content, so 2 cups sugar, one cup oil.) 
Then we added a few more drops of Peppermint essential oil to punch up the aroma.

Lastly, we made some peppermint lip butter. 
We started with 1 oz of beeswax. (A double boiler would be easiest, 
but since I don't have one, I used a mason jar in a pot of boiling water. 
You can also use the microwave, just be careful not to overheat the wax!) 

Once the wax was melted, I added: 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon mango Butter
1/4 teaspoon honey
5 drops peppermint essential oil

We let it all melt, then poured it into lip balm containers. 

All we needed now was the labels... 

I created labels on the computer with directions and ingredients. 
Then I used packaging tape to apply them to the sugar scrub and lip balm containers, 
and stapled two milk bath baggies together with a tag. 

I put two baggies of milk bath, a container of sugar scrub, and a lip balm in cello bags. 
Then I tied on a note for each teacher and a candy cane to each bag, 
and they are ready to go! 

Squirrel is super excited to give her teachers their presents she helped make, and I'm happy that we made something homemade and super affordable. 


  1. I love this idea! I need to come up with something for the twins kindergarten teachers - this is definitely a winner! You're so creative Kierra!

  2. Wow, those are adorable! I might have to try that. Peppermint is my favorite.

  3. What a cute idea! Love the flavor. Visting from Tatertots and Jello =)

  4. What a thoughtful gift! Would love for you to visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made with Love Monday! The party will be open until Friday if you want to link up multiple projects. Hope you have a great day!

  5. Wow! What a great idea! Love it!

  6. I love this idea!! How many does each recipe make??

  7. Thank you for this post!! I especially love that these are things my kids can help with making!


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