Make Your Own Stocking Stuffers

A Christmas stocking hung against rustic wood.
What You'll Need
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Aromatic additions
Old perfume bottle
Witch hazel
Aloe vera gel
Essential oils
Cone coffee filters
Loose tea
Colored paper
Small tins
Fabric notions
Hot glue gun
Felt, fleece, or flannnel
Citrus fruit rinds
Silicone soap molds
8 ounces unscented glycerin soap

Stocking stuffers tend to be last-minute gifts and are often candy or other items we really do not need. This Christmas give out something useful, homemade, and less expensive. All of these items can be created in an afternoon and provide a personal touch that will make these little presents stand out in the crowd.

Lotion Bars

These little DIY treats make pretty stocking stuffers everyone will appreciate during the winter months. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but quickly begins to melt when handled, making it the perfect semi-solid moisturizer. Mix 2 parts coconut oil, 1 part grated beeswax, and a half part olive oil. Slowly, melt them together in a double boiler until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Choose additions such as orange peels, mint leaves, essential oils, or cinnamon to stir in and enhance the aroma. Once well mixed, the liquid can be poured into silicone molds in any shape. Refrigerate the molds for at least one hour. When the bars are solid they can be popped out of the molds and placed in small tins or other containers.

Hand Sanitizer

Christmas is only the midpoint of cold and flu season, so giving out DIY hand sanitizer is people and earth-friendly. It is also much less expensive to make than it is to buy in the store. Use an old 2-ounce perfume bottle or purchase a glass spritzer bottle at a craft or health food store.

Use a funnel to pour ¼ cup witch hazel, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel into the bottle. Next, add in 10-15 drops of either lavender, tea tree, or lemongrass essential oil. Tightly screw on the lid and shake the ingredients together. Each of the ingredients is an antibacterial or antiseptic, and they will smell wonderful when put together.

Herbal Tea Bags

Herbal tea is another great seasonal remedy or “pick me up”. Give the gift to a special friend by creating personalized tea bags. Simply take cone coffee filters and cut in half. This should create two small pockets with two sides open. Gently spoon 1 teaspoon of loose tea into each pouch.

Roll one open side about three times to seal that edge. Then, fold down the remaining open side several times. Be sure to “capture” the rolled edge in the folds to prevent any leaf leaks. Create a cute personalized tag with colored paper and string. Then staple the folded side of the bag down with the tag. Use pretty little gift boxes or old tins to keep the newly made bags fresh for the recipient.

Hot Cup Cozies

This unique gift idea does not require any sewing experience and can quickly be made with a few scraps of fabric. Use a cardboard cozy from Starbucks or your local coffee shop as a template to trace the necessary shape onto two layers of fleece, flannel, or felt. Cut out the two pieces and glue the layers together using a hot glue gun. Next, attach Velcro where the ends overlap according to the Velcro instructions.

The hardest part of the whole project is deciding how to decorate the new cozies. The hot glue gun can again be used to attach buttons, appliques, ribbons, lace, rhinestones, or anything else imaginable to the outside. This is a great way to upcycle old fabrics and craft notions while also keeping cardboard out of the landfill.

Citrus Rind Soap

Lemon and orange rinds usually get tossed in the trash. Instead, use a microplane to remove zest from the fruit before peeling it. Be careful not to collect any of the pilth, or white bitter material. Add the zest to plain, unscented glycerin soap melted in a double boiler. For extra aroma, essential oils can also be added into the mixture at this point.

When the soap is completely melted, slowly pour the mixture into several silicone molds and let them set until completely solid at room temperature. The soaps can be popped out of the molds and packaged as easy stocking stuffers. This recipe also works for grapefruits and limes. Try mixing and matching for fun and refreshing scents.