Homemade gifts make great items to include in your bake sale, and bath and body items are very popular. With Mother’s Day looming on the calendar, this is a great gift item to add to your sales table.
Our luxurious Lavender Milk Bath is designed to moisturize and soften the skin just like those featured at some of the most elegant spas. Using simple and readily available ingredients it combines quickly so you can spend your time decorating the containers it will be featured in.
The ingredients in milk bathes have been celebrated by refined ladies for their skin softening qualities since Cleopatra’s time. The mild natural lactic acid included in milk is a form of alpha-hydroxy acid which is the main ingredient included in many skin exfoliating/softening products on the market today. Not to worry, milk is actually soothing to dry skin and should cause no irritation due to it’s natural mildness.
Even those who suffer from lactose intolerance should have no problem with a milk bath as none of the product is ingested. An outright milk allergy might be a concern though, or other sensitivity, so it’s a good idea to list the ingredients on your labels.
The baking soda included has a detoxifying quality helping to pull impurities from the skin while softening, and the corn starch will make the bath feel more creamy and also contributes to the softening of the skin.
The lavender oil provides a wonderful floral aroma providing the benefits of “soothing, normalizing, and balancing” – making it an aromatherapy experience in relaxation. Be sure to choose an “essential oil” that has been steam distilled from fresh flowering tops. A 1 oz bottle cost me about $10. With such a small amount used for this project, I have plenty left over for other uses.
We’re big on recycling at Bake Sale Central, so we use a very popular coffee drink bottle (Starbucks® frappuccino®) that we save throughout the year. They come in two sizes: 9.5 fl oz and 13.7 fl oz. Both will work well for this project. Similar bottles are available at craft stores, but we like to save the money and reuse – getting one more use out of the container before it hits the recycle bin.
Labels are removed then the adhesive left behind worked off with an adhesive remover like Goo Gone® and a paper towel. A trip through the dishwasher gets them all clean and shiny. The lids are cleaned and then color added with acrylic or latex paint (it takes several coats) or spray painted (again, it takes several light coats). The best way we’ve found is with the new “paint and primer in one” spray paint now available at your local hardware store. The lids were done in two light coats – clearly a quicker way to get this part of the process done and well worth the extra couple dollars for this high quality paint. Spray paint costs about $3.50 to $6.00 for the fancier finishes. One can will work to cover a bunch of lids.
Luxurious Lavender Scented Milk Bath
- 4 cups powdered milk
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup baking soda
- 14-16 drops of lavender essential oil
Add 1/2 to 1 cup of milk bath to your warm bath water and enjoy!
Decorating the bottles is the best part of this project, and you can use just about anything you want to make each one special. The featured bottle above is embellished with a peel and stick jeans decoration from the fabric store clearance bin (I wish I had grabbed a few more when I got it – I had no idea what I would use it for at that time). Ribbons, buttons, bows, beads – just about anything goes. I dug through my decorations boxes and threw together a few examples to inspire your own creations.
The large jars are featured on the left. I printed some Avery® labels using their online templates and put them on paint chip samples from the hardware store. This stiffened them up and then I cut out the circle with a variety of regular and decorative scissors.
The lovely lavender wands laying on the table were a gift from my Aunt Jana from her garden. Dressed up with some ribbon roses and tied with colored ribbon, these would also make a great gift to add to your bake sale offerings. Lots of people love anything lavender due to its beauty and relaxing scent.
The ribbons are secured with a dot of craft glue, and the paper roses were tacked onto the ribbon with another dot of craft glue.
The picture below shows all 12 of the bottles I decorated in one evening. Mixing the ingredients together took almost no time at all, and a funnel made filling the jars super easy. It took three batches of the recipe above to fill all the bottles – 4 large and 8 small. I just went through my craft and sewing supplies and pulled out things I thought would be pretty. It just naturally took on a bit of a Victorian theme.
Here’s a picture of all 12 bottles of Milk Bath.
The small bottles were decorated with decorative tape, ribbon, lace and 3D stickers. The label sheet I made was exactly 12 stickers, and I placed them directly onto the small bottles, some holding the ribbons in place.
I hope you enjoy this do-it-yourself idea that can help increase your income at bake sales. They also make great hostess gifts as well as thoughtful gifts at any other occasion. We’ll be posting some more ideas, recipes and photographs very soon.
Seems like the jolly fat man gets all the goodies – cookies and milk at every house.
What about those hardworking reindeer? They’re expected to haul Santa and all the presents all over the world, while flying, and what do they get for it? Nada. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. I’ll bet they burn a lot of calories.
Let’s start a movement this year to help out those overworked flying reindeer. Every house should put out a little Reindeer Chow to help them keep their spirits up and fuel the effort. Your campaign begins by making them available at your bake sale, along with your gifts to family and friends, and as part of your holiday cookie trays.
Chex tm has a website devoted to great recipes you can make from their wonderful cereals – many are gluten and/or nut free. We chose their popular Muddy Buddies that you may also recognize by the nickname Puppy Chow. Any recipe for their great mixes will do. Visit their site HERE and choose your favorite.
While looking for a great graphic to print on the labels, we ran across The Graphics Fairy. She collects and shares vintage graphics that have no copyright, and she shares them with all of us for personal use – FREE! We backed our bag toppers with Christmas fabric trimmed with pinking shears – and we trimmed the paper with the same scissors for a nice clean look.
Please join our campaign to feed the reindeer. They have an important job to do and need all the help we can give them!
Everyone loves a good laugh, and this Redneck Bubble Bath fits the bill! A jar of beans, the instructions are simple: “Cook and eat one hour before bathing.”
Here we used mostly recycled jars. The ones with gold lids are from a jarred gravy and because the lid had no graphics printed on it no prep was needed. Free! We love free.
The tall red lidded one in the center is from a coffee drink where we spray painted the lid a beautiful red color. Nearly free! Maybe one of these days we will count how many lids can be painted with one $3 can of spray paint. None of our spray cans are empty yet.
The red lidded plastic jar on the left was picked up for under one dollar in the bulk food section of the local grocery. A cute graphic from the internet and some double-sided tape and we are in business!
They make great stocking stuffers for Christmas, gag gifts for the office party, or just a fun way to tell that special someone that you get their sense of humor!
We’re having fun – seriously raising money!
Taco Tuesdays just got a whole lot better! With a lot of mouths to feed a taco bar is a tradition, but those darn spice packets are so expensive! We save by making our own, plus we can control the herbs and spices – adjusting for our personal taste. Want less cumin? You are in control.
Here’s our favorite Taco Seasoning Mix. We love it because we know exactly what goes into it – no fillers, artificial colors or preservatives (there is a sensitivity to preservatives like MSG and nitrates in our house).
We purchase all of our herbs and spices in the Mexican food section of our local grocery. They come in cellophane bags rather than the expensive glass jars and tins, and their price reflects it. Pennies compared to dollars.
Recloseable snack size baggies are perfect for a single serving which this recipe makes. We folded the baggie in half and topped it off with a printed bag topper we made on our home computer and printer. A few punched holes (above the bag closure), some embroidery thread and a pretty button and we have a very pretty package to give as a gift, add to a gift basket, or if we mixed up several – as an extra item on our bake sale table.
To put together more than one packet, just set out bowls. If you are making a dozen, then set out 12 bowls on your counter or table. Then using your measuring spoons, add each measured ingredient one at a time to each bowl. It goes very quickly and it can be a fun project with the kids. Once all the ingredients are added, just stir each bowl to blend the ingredients and pour into individual baggies.
The bag toppers are easy to make. We chose a clip art image that came with our word processor and printed it on a light card stock – about 96 lb paper works great. The back is cut long which gives you a perfect place to write a little note if giving as a gift. I you are using your packets to raise money for a cause, it is the perfect place to add your message.
We picked up the 8 oz plastic jar in the bulk food section of the local grocery. It only cost $.78 and they had both larger and smaller sizes. The 8 oz jar takes exactly 6 times the single packet recipe which we prepared by putting all the ingredients into one bowl. Once mixed it was easy to spoon the seasoning mix into the jar, add a label and finish with the lid.
Single Packet Ingredients:
- · 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- · 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- · 1 teaspoon sea salt
- · ½ teaspoon paprika
- · ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- · ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- · ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- · ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir together until blended. Store in a cool dry place for up to six months.
Instructions: Thoroughly cook one pound of ground beef while breaking into small pieces. Add Taco Seasoning mix along with 3 Tablespoons water. Stir in pan until blended.
If preparing in bulk, 2 Tablespoons = 1 packet.
It has been about 25 years since I’ve had one of these cookies – I cannot believe it. There are some things that can transport you to a time and place in your life when you were a happy and carefree child – a smell, a taste, or a sound. These wonderful English Cookies do that for me. Rich with brown sugar and coffee there was frequently a large batch of these soft cookies baked up and ready for us when we came to visit Grandma Grace.
Grandma Grace has been gone for many years and I was so thankful to run across this recipe in a book about Grandma and her family put together by my Aunt Betty (Elkins) Shoults. The book is a treasure trove of family history and I don’t know why I never noticed the page of favorite recipes before.
I immediately whipped up a batch and I don’t think there is a better cookie out there. The only change I made was to add a little salt. Under the instructions it says “Temp of oven? Grace says, ‘Well you’re supposed to know something!’”
I made my first batch with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and about 1 cup of chocolate chips. They turned out just as I remembered. I hope you give my Grandma’s recipe a try. It really is delicious.
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup shortening (I used butter flavored)
1 cup cold coffee
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 level teaspoon baking soda
1 level teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
Add ins: cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts, raisins or chocolate chips.
In a large bowl cream together the brown sugar and shortening. Add coffee and eggs and mix together well. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and desired seasoning and add to wet ingredients. Add in any additional ingredients until well blended.
Drop from spoon onto baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies. The recipe is proportioned well to make a half batch for smaller quantity.