Farm-Fresh, Simple, Effective Skin Care -- Handmade by YOU!

12 Days of Handmade Christmas Gifts Series --- Day 5: Lavender Orange Bath Bombs

Lavender Orange Bath Bombs
Now that we've got a few super quick handmade skin care gifts made, are you ready to try something a bit more involved?  Today, day five of the 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Gifts series, we're making bath bombs.

If you're not familiar with them, bath bombs are basically tablets of sweet-smelling goodness that you drop into the tub.  There, they fizz, release their lovely aroma, and add some good stuff to your bathwater too.

The baking soda in this bath bomb softens the water, cornstarch leaves your skin feeling silky, and the sweet almond oil is just enough to moisturize your skin without feeling greasy.  

I was completely in love with Lush bath bombs for years, until I learned to make my own.  Try these, you'll love them!

And if your gift recipient isn't the bath-taking type, you can use these as shower bombs too.  Just place an extra large bomb in the corner of the shower.  Each time you take a shower, it will release some of the fabulous scent and make it a nice spa experience.  It will last several showers, depending on how large the bomb is.

I love the combination of lavender and orange scent, but feel free to substitute any other fragrance oil or essential oils that you wish.

Lavender Orange Bath Bombs
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
20 drops lavender essential oil
40 drops sweet orange essential oil
red food coloring
blue food coloring
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds (optional)

You'll also need:
Spritz bottle filled with witch hazel (you can find this at the drug store, Target, etc.)

Cookie cutters, at least 1/4 inch thick (optional, if you want to make shaped bath bombs.  Simple shapes work best, more intricate ones can be a pain to unmold.)

Wax paper

Step 1:   Lay out a sheet of wax paper and set aside.  I like to tape mine to the counter to prevent it from rolling up.

Mix really well at each step.  Don't be afraid to use your hands!
Pour the baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch into a large bowl and stir really well.  The mixture needs to be smooth, so get out all the clumps.  I often use my hands to crush them or, if it's really clumpy, whirl it in the blender for a few seconds.

Step 2:  Add the sweet almond oil and mix very well, making sure the oil is completely incorporated.

Step 3:  Now, let's split the mixture into two bowls.  Put one cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and add 40 drops of sweet orange oil.  Mix very well and set aside.  In the second bowl, add 20 drops of lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon lavender buds.  Mix.

Step 4:  We're going to color the lavender bombs now.  Add 4-5 drops of blue food coloring and 6-7 drops of red food coloring to the lavender scented mixture.  You may see a bit of fizzing, but that's OK.  Stir really well and then get ready to get your hands dirty!

Use your hands to massage and rub the mixture, and you'll see the color start to come through.  Continue to do this until the color is completely mixed in.  The color will be light pastel.  It will darken once we dampen the bath bomb.

I've left the orange scented mixture white, but feel free to color it if you wish.

Step 5:  Now comes the part that takes a bit of patience.  We have to get the bath bomb mixture to the right
Just wet enough to stick together.
consistency to mold.  If the mixture is too dry, it will crumble and won't hold together.  If it's too wet, it will fizz and grow and get squishy (no one wants a squishy bath bomb!)

Take the witch hazel and spritz the lavender mixture several times.  Stir well and test the consistency by squeezing a bit in your hand.  We're trying to get the mixture to a consistency of damp sand -- just barely able to hold together without crumbling.  If it's still too dry and crumbly, spritz with more witch hazel and test again.  Continue to do this until the consistency is perfect.  Take your time.

Once the lavender mixture is right, do the same thing to the orange mixture.

Press mixture firmly into the mold.
Step 6:  It's time to mold!  Working on the wax paper, fill one half of your cookie cutter with the lavender
mixture and the other half with the orange mixture.  Press firmly into the cookie cutter.  Let set one to two minutes, and then carefully unmold from the cookie cutter.  Set it in an out of the way spot on the wax paper to dry.

You can also free form your bath bombs.  Again using half lavender and half orange, pack the mixture together as if you're making a snowball.  Once you're happy with the shape, set it on the wax paper to dry.

Continue making your bath bombs until the mixture is
Gently unmold after 1-2 minutes
gone.  Have fun playing with different sized and shapes (giant bombs, tiny bombs, lavender-only bombs, or orange-only bombs, etc.)

If your bath bombs are crumbling and not holding shape, the mixture has gotten too dry.  Add some more witch hazel and carry on.

Step 7:    Leave your bath bombs, undisturbed, on the wax paper for 12-24 hours until they're completely dry and hard.  Now, they're ready to package!

If you have a bath bomb crumble or break after the drying out process, it's still usable.  Just call fizzy bath rocks.

I like to tie my bath bombs up in a cello bag with ribbon.  Super cute!

Make sure to check back tomorrow... we're making Peppermint Hot Chocolate Lip Balm!  Sooo good and it's all natural.

More in the 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Gifts Series:
Day 1: Winter Wonderland Bath Soak
Day 2: Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub
Day 3: Hot Cocoa and Marshmallow Mask
Day 4: Winter Forest Bath Salts 
Day 5: Lavender Orange Bath Bombs (You're here!)
Day 6: Peppermint Hot Chocolate Lip Balm
Day 7: Moisturizing Shaving Soap for Men
Day 8: Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans & More Yummy Treats
Day 9: Snowball Sugar Scrubs
Day 10: Handcrafted Potpourri  
Day 11: Peppermint Orange Body Balm
Day 12: Marbled Christmas Soap

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