Looking for a simple but luxurious handmade gift idea? This tutorial for three ingredient lotion bars is simple to make, useful, a splurge to buy and great gift for everyone. This craft also marks my first beeswax product, from my backyard hives – another precious gift from my favorite pollinators.
Three Ingredient (That’s it!) Lotion Bars
Ingredients & Equipment
- Equal parts by weight Shea Butter, Beeswax and Coconut oil
- Slow cooker and liner
- Muffin papers and pan
- Ladle, paper towel/newspaper
- Space in fridge for muffin pan to cool
- Wooden takeout chopsticks to stir
- Ice cube trays, soap or candy molds, milk cartons, PVC pipe mold etc
- Vitamin E oil
- Essential oils, lavender buds or oatmeal
Melt all three of the main ingredients (shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil) in a slow cooker on high. Be sure to use a liner for easy clean up. The Coconut Oil and Shea Butter will melt first and the Beeswax will follow soon after. Stir if you are so inclined.
You could also do this in a double boiler but not directly on a burner as beeswax may catch fire (confession – one time I knowingly rendered my beeswax on an open flame, no fire still not smart).
For this batch, I used ¾ pound of each. Why 0.75? Because that is how much coconut oil I had on hand. This made about 20 round bars and 20 small bees. Some of bees were a tad fragile but the little broken bits work just fine for me.
Place one or two muffin papers in each muffin space (what do you call them?) in the pan. Imagine the mini-muffins too!
Once the ingredients are melted, you are ready to fill the molds. Layer paper towel under the slow cooker and muffin tin to catch dribbles. Then using a ladle fill the muffin mold about 2/3 to 3/4 full. You can then let it cool at room temp or in the fridge (faster, ~ 10-20 minutes) or outside if it is winter.
Once cool and solid remove from the pan, line with new papers and ladle the next batch. I left them in the finished bars in the papers until I was ready to package them up, placed on plates lined with paper towel.
I also had a small bee candy mold that I used to make adorable lotion bees. I tried spraying the mold with non-stick cooking spray and also without – didn’t seem to make a difference. For any lotion bars that are funny shaped or broken or many just bits on the rim of the muffin pan, put it back into the slower cooker and re-melt.
Wrap them up in a small box, lined paper, dish, glass jar etc. I packaged mine up in pairs using vellum envelops, labels, bakers twine, glue stick and some finishing flare. Two important things to note 1) these begin to melt quickly in your hands (that is what makes them lotion bars) so don’t handle them too much 2) whatever you wrap them in should resist oil (e.g. parchment paper, wax paper, plastic wrap) or it will just soak through. Now give the gift of soothed skin.
Don’t believe me? Other great sites to reinforce –
PS If you want to use essential oils, let the filled muffin pan sit for a few minutes at room temp to start to cool but not solidify. Then mix in a tiny drop of oil, stir with a tooth pick and then put in fridge. I found that the smell dissipated with the higher heat, but play around to see what works. If adding texture such as lavender buds or oatmeal, do so very sparingly.