Holiday Gift Making – Part One

Holiday Gift Making  Part One

with Jade Shutes

One of my all time favorite holiday events is the time for making aromatic and herbal gifts for family and friends.  We begin our adventure with all the supplies we have on hand or can easily get (because typically we wait until the last minutes).  The first step was to sterilize all my jars I was planning on using for various projects. With that done, we began our Aromatic and Herbal Gift Making.  This is Part I…more to come over the next day or two.

First up:  My fathers gift of Bay Rum Aftershave which I have been making for years now.  He loves it!




  • 2 cups Rum
  • 1 tbsp. Allspice fruits
  • 2 tsp. Cloves
  • 6-7 bay leaves
  • 1 small Cinnamon stick
  • 15 drops Bay Laurel essential oil (Laurus nobilis)

Place allspice, cloves and cinnamon stick in canning jar then cover with rum. Put the top on and shake a bit.  Label the jar with “Bay Rum Aftershave”, date mixed and date to decant in about two weeks.  You can also add 1-2tsp. of aloe vera gel and 1-2tsps of glycerin for those with dry skin.



After two weeks, decant by straining through a strainer.  Then add 15 drops of Bay Laurel essential oil and store in a beautiful bottle.  (Final pictures coming in two weeks).  I am planning on using the bottle that the Rum came in and putting some artwork on the front of the bottle.

Bath Fizzies

These are easy to make and fun gifts to give.


  • 2 cups Baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Citric acid
  • 1/4 cup or so of dried herbs (dried roses, lavender, calendula, and/or chamomile buds work well)
  • 20-35 drops Essential oil (depending on essential oils used and desired strength)
  • A cookie sheet with wax paper placed on it.
  • Molds to press into

I used 18 drops Lavander (Lavandual angustifolia), 15 drops Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and 3 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin).

Combine the baking soda and citric acid.  Stir well.  Add in 1/4 or so of dried herbs.  Stir.  Slowly add your essential oils, stirring between every couple of drops.  Once all drops are added, stir all these ingredients really well.

Next, you are going to spritz lavender or other chosen hydrosols into the mixture. Stir between every couple of sprays.  It will take about 40-45 spritzes to complete the preparation.

Once the mixture looks almost like a scone like mix then you can press into balls or press into different molds.  If you are going to use molds I recommend only using ones that don’t have intricate corners as they become challenging to press out.

Fill molds with mix and press down well.  Continue adding mix until mold is pressed and at the top.  With any remaining mix you can make a ball or two.

Allow the molds and/or balls to sit over night to dry and harden.  Next day. Remove from molds and package in cloth or other recyclable bag.

Will have pictures of our final product soon!