I love getting DIY gifts. I also love the idea of making them, but i’m not great at getting down to actually making them.
Maybe this is a perfectionist problem, I don’t know. “Let’s do holiday DIY gifts using essential oils this year!” The little voice in my head says, “Ok, but we don’t have containers to put them in. So we have to get some, but who will we give them to? How many containers do we need? How will we get the containers to the people when we have them together? What if we don’t make enough? What if we have too much? Which recipes will we make?”
Is this you, too?
Here’s what I hope this post will do for you:
- Give you some essential oil DIY recipes that are so easy even I make them
- Help you overcome that hurdle of starting to make the things in the first place
If you don’t feel like reading and would rather watch a video, here you go!
Step #1: Don’t get stuck on what should be “Step #1”
I totally just got stuck here, right now, writing this. At first Step #1 was going to be, “Choose your recipes.” Then I thought, no, it should be, “Determine your list.” But then I thought maybe, “What containers do you want to use.”
Also, I just went back to that bulleted list above and changed to bullets from numbers because the numbers wouldn’t match my “Steps”. What I almost did was rethink the whole idea of this post in the first place, but then I realized that’s a silly reason to stop.
Upon editing the post, I decided not to have any more steps at all. There you go. I’m keeping it like this.
This is exactly the perfectionist’s problem with doing complex tasks. We get stuck on little things in our attempt to make the big picture perfect before we even start. I have a doctoral degree, for goodness sake. I can’t let DIY Bath Salts unhinge me.
So, at the risk of offending other perfectionists reading this who think Step #1 should be something else (and that there should be at least a Step #2), I’m going to proceed in imperfection and just pick something. Imperfect progress is better than no progress. (“Sometimes,” says the little voice in my head.)
Here we go. Breathe. Step #1 is… Choose a Recipe, for goodness sake.
Some Really Easy Essential Oil DIY Recipes
I did an online Essential Oils DIY Workshop for some folks in my university community last week. It was really fun. I started the workshop explaining that I’m really bad at doing DIY gifts and I would share with them some really easy ones. Here are the recipes we did, broken down into realistic, easy steps.
DIY Gifts: Bath Salts
Easiest version, one “serving”
- get Epsom salts
- get some containers
- measure 1/3 cup of Epsom salts into a bowl
- drop in 3-ish drops of whatever oil you want – Lavender is a good bet
- mix well
- scoop into containers
- adjust the recipe to suit the amount you want to make
Where did you get stuck? Let me help you.
- Epsom salts?
- Big box grocery stores carry this. Get the unscented ones (obviously). Or go to the drug store. Or bulk store.
- Mason jars work great.
- If you’re a jar hoarder like I am just use whatever jars you have around the house.
- Remove any sticky labels with your Lemon oil.
- I got some great little jars at the dollar store, and they even came with ribbon already on them.
- Are your containers too big?
- How much do you like the person you’re gifting?
- Maybe having a big container full of bath salts would be awesome for that person!
- No, you don’t need to add a scoop.
- Don’t get stuck on fancy labels or whatever.
- I just use a gift tag. Done.
Optional: take it up a notch.
- For every 1/3 cup Epsom salts, add 2 tsp baking soda.
- Use different oils, or blend some together.
- Try Adaptiv, Holiday Peace, Serenity, Citrus Bliss, Balance.
- Any combo will do. But don’t get stuck here!
- Use a fancier container.
- I love the empty ornament balls from the craft store.
- Glass ones are heavy so fill to less than half-full.
- If you over-fill these the top will fall off and you’ll have a mess on your hands.
DIY Gifts: Room/Tree Spray
Sprays are a great gift. Most people love a “holiday smell” in their home, and we have these beautiful, non-toxic products we can share easily with people. Yes, I said “easily”.
Easiest version, based on 1 oz / 30 mL
- Get some spray bottles
- Fill almost to the top with filtered water
- Add 8-ish drops of essential oils
- Shake well before using
My favourite oil combo is half Peppermint, half Holiday Joy. If you have an artificial try use some tree oils. Holiday Peace is nice, or if you got the Northern Escape blend last month during BOGOs that’s a great one too.
But let me guess. I bet you got stuck on the first point.
The spray bottle problem
This is by far the hardest part of this recipe. Look at the dollar store or home decorating store.
dōTERRA does carry some bottles but they appear to be sold out in the Canadian warehouse. The 30 mL black bottles dōTERRA uses for their On Guard Mist and other sprays are available in the US warehouse if you’re ordering there. They also have those great continuous-mist spray bottles, but they’re a hot commodity and sold out too.
There are also essential oil supply stores where you can get all kinds of other goodies too, like roller bottles, storage solutions, books, etc. In Canada our options are a little limited. There’s always the “Big A”, but if you prefer to support a small business I would highly recommend Oil JENneration. I have met the owner. Small-town Ontario and they have dogs, so they have my vote. You can also try the Canadian site of Aromatools.
If you have other suggestions for small orders on spray bottles pop them in the comments below. Our US friends have far more options.
Optional: take it up a notch
- use 1/2 witch hazel, 1/2 water – apparently it makes the aroma last longer
- or add 1/2 tsp Epsom salt to the water – helps the oil and water mix better
- add a sprig of something pretty inside your bottle (if you can see through it)
I don’t bother with any of these. The water version works just fine, though I might add a pinch of Epsom salts and see what happens since I have them from the first recipe anyway.
This is really nice for rough skin. I highly recommend using ingestible products for this so you can use it on your lips too. This is a great gift because it’s something most people don’t buy for themselves.
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 6 drops essential oils
- mix and scoop into a container
My favourite oil combo is half Lavender, half Peppermint. Tastes DELICIOUS. Make sure your essential oils are ingestible if you want to taste it.
Did you get stuck on the coconut oil part? I’m assuming you have the container thing figured out by now. If not, please go back to “Bath Salts” above.
Choosing your coconut oil
Remember when I suggested using ingestible ingredients in this recipe? Have a close look at your non-essential oil and make sure it’s ingestible. The fractionated coconut oil many people use in roller bottle recipes may not be safe for ingestion. Check your bottle!
I always go with an oil from the grocery store for this one, just to be 100% sure it’s ok to ingest. My favourite is the liquid coconut oil from the fancy oils section, and you can use it in your roller bottle recipes too. Can you use the hard coconut oil in this recipe? Sure! You’ll just have to soften it before you mix your ingredients and it will harden when it cools but it works too.
You can also use any other oil you want, which is good to know if your giftee has a coconut sensitivity. Grape seed oil is my next favourite because it’s a) not from a tree, b) doesn’t smell like anything, and c ) it’s great for cooking too because it has a high smoke point. Bonus.
Optional: take it up a notch
- use skin-safe food colouring and layer to look like a candy cane or whatever
- use fancier sugar
DIY Gifts: The Real Problem
Sometimes we need to just break down the larger problem and identify the one thing that’s getting in our way. Is it the containers? The recipient list? The recipes? It’s easy to get stuck in the loop of perfectionism and then nothing happens.
What is the worst that could happen? Let’s walk through this.
Containers: You use what you have at home.
So what? Have you ever said “no” to your aunt’s amazing homemade jam because the jar wasn’t fancy? You’re really only interested in the jam, right? If you’re giving an essential oil DIY gift to someone who doesn’t have essential oils in their home, you’re giving them a new experience. If you have a dōTERRA business this is also a great way to let other people experience your oils, and it’s super low-cost for you.
Recipient List: You’re afraid you’ll leave someone out.
Make extra! All of these recipes can easily be doubled and they don’t really expire. All of a sudden you remembered the school bus driver. Grab a jar, throw in some stuff, slap a tag on it and off you go. Oh dear, you have way too much of the Bath Salts left over? I guess you’ll have to take one for the team and use them yourself.
The Recipes: Stick with easy.
Easy is better than nothing. Pick one and go. If you want to get fancier as you go, go for it but don’t get stuck in overwhelm here.
I could link a whole bunch of DIY gifts here but I’ll never fully serve everyone if I do that. You have the really easy recipes in the post above.
There is also a whole dōTERRA blog devoted to DIY gifts recipes! Warning: don’t get stuck in overwhelm. Here’s the link:
I will leave you with my favourite recipe: dōTERRA Black Bean Peppermint Brownies.
Post your favourite essential oil DIY recipe below! Even better, post photos of your completed projects. I’m sure your friends and family are happy you took that first step.