recipe for relaxation: Sugar and Spice Bath Salts, Lavender Bath Salts, Bath Salts from the Sea

I am a big fan of Epsom salt baths! Here’s a guideline/recipe I’ve used to make bath salts for myself but also as gifts.

What You Will Need:

for the salts

•  epsom salts or sea salt, or both, and baking soda
•  essential oils – I like rose, lavender, peppermint – but get what you like!
•  1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp cloves for each cup of sugar and spice bath salts
•  food coloring (totally optional)
•  1 or 2 teaspoons of glycerin per jar – optional, but glycerin is an effective skin moisturizer and a nice addition

For the Decorative Glass Jars

•  four glass jars and one glass sugar shaker jar
•  printable jar labels
•  scissors and glue to cut out and stick on labels
•  assorted embellishments, including several yards of orange or peach colored ribbon, small amount of lavender or mauve ribbon, ecru or white doily, raffia, tacky glue and household twine

Instructions

1. Collect your jars, remove labels, then wash and dry thoroughly.
2. For most bath salts recipes you can use your choice of epsom salts or sea salt, with baking soda, if desired, or a combination of all three. One good mix is one cup of epsom salts, with 1/4 cup of sea salt, and two or three tablespoons of baking soda. A little more or less of each ingredient is fine for most bath salts. Epsom salts and sea salt are soothing for tired muscles, while both will gently soften the water for a luxurious bath experience. You could also add a tablespoon or two of finely ground regular oatmeal (not quick cooking) for silky, skin-softening water.
3. Fill each jar to the top with the combination of bath salts that you plan to use. Empty the salts into a mixing jar and add a drop or two of glycerin, if using. Add your choice of essential oil – how many drops you use is a personal preference, but start with two or three drops and see if you like the fragrance. The same goes for the liquid food coloring; sometimes I use quite a few drops of food color to get the strong hue that I like, but so far it hasn’t stained the bath tub or anyone’s skin. Remember that the color and fragrance will be much diluted in the bath water. Stir the salts vigorously until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
For specific details, and how to decorate each jar, please see the individual instructions that follow:
•  Lavender Bath Salts: I used 1 cup of epsom salts, half a cup of sea salt, and a few tablespoons of baking soda for this recipe, adding 8 drops of lavender. (This one was for me, and I adore lavender – it made the bathroom smell heavenly!) Adjust the fragrance, just adding one or two drops at a time until you’re happy with it. Lavender is a difficult color to achieve with food coloring, I found, but I managed to get a lavender color that I liked by using far more red than blue.
To decorate the jar, thread lavender ribbon through the openings in an ecru doily, tie in place and make a bow. If this isn’t possible, use a rubber band to secure the doily in place, then tie the ribbon over it. Print and cut out our free Lavender Bath Salts Labels then glue in place to finish the jar.
•  Sugar and Spice Bath Salts: Use half epsom salts and half sea salts to almost fill a glass sugar shaker jar, then add approximately 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves and two heaped teaspoons of brown or white sugar for each cup of the salts. Empty into a mixing bowl and, if you like, thoroughly stir in a few drops of red and green food coloring to enhance the golden brown color. Tie a few lengths of raffia around the neck of the jar, and remember to seal it with the inner plastic cap before screwing on the metal lid with holes in it. Print our free Sugar and Spice Bath Salt Labels, cut out, coat with a glue stick or craft glue and stick firmly to the front and the back of the bottle.
•  Bath Salts from the Sea: Use only sea salt – either fine or coarse, or a combination of both, for this recipe. Add an essential oil that reminds you of the sea – I used sandlewood. A drop of eucalyptus might enhance this mixture. Jasmine would also work well. Add drops of blue food coloring, if desired, either to all the mixture, or just half, so you can funnel white and blue layers into the jar.
For the nautical rope decoration, take 3 lengths of household twine, each about 3 feet long and braid them together. Coat the jar lid with tacky glue and, in the middle of the lid, start twisting the braid around itself in a spiral, pushing the flat side of the braid firmly into the glue. Go right over the lid edge and around the rim, adding extra glue to secure the end. Make another braid to decorate the bottom of the jar in similar fashion. Take this braid up the jar about an inch or so, then secure the end at the back of the jar.

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