DIY: Make your own lotion, lip balm and body spray

I just might be the most suggestible person on the planet. If I see or read about something it will stick in my thinking to the point of obsession. Knowing this, I specifically avoid stores that cram all those nifty gadgets (that nobody needs) right up against the checkout counter, because I am exactly the person who buys those items. (Why did I need that microwavable egg poacher?)

Case in point: In the latest series I’m reading — set in the 1770s — the main character drinks a lot of tea. I have never been much of a tea drinker in my life but guess who drinks tea regularly now? What really got me, though, was when said character made her own moisturizing lotion. How neat is that? Then, not a day later, I’m on Pinterest and I see a 14-year-old girl touting the benefits and ease of homemade lip balm. How neat is that?

The real explosion hit when I ran out of body spray and found a recipe on the Internet. My critical-thinking brain (the same one that decided that I would look good with pink hair that one time) was filled with dozens of thoughts, each spinning and landing like cherries on a slot machine: if some time-traveling character in a piece of historical fiction can make moisturizing lotion (clunk!) and an overly giddy adolescent from the Internet could make lip balm (clunk!) and this recipe for body spray is so simple (clunk!) — by golly! — I could MAKE THESE THINGS, TOO! (Ding-ding-ding-ding-Jackpot.)

The truth of the matter is that, surprisingly, my critical-thinking brain was right this time. Homemade lotion, lip balm and body spray are all very easy projects and use natural ingredients. In fact, I had many of the items in my kitchen already. Better? These items would make great gifts.

GETTING STARTED: Most of the items needed for these projects can be found at crafts, drug and health food stores, or even at box marts — and, of course, online. Half the joy of making these products is using them in their non-spoiled state. To keep your creations fresh and lasting up to three months or more, it’s important that bacteria stay out of your crafting process. Boil your containers and utensils before you start, keep to the suggested ingredients and make small batches. And if the recipe calls for water, be sure to use distilled water only.

These recipes below are modified from others I’d seen online. Each contains a natural preservative (Vitamin E oil or citric acid) that will add longevity to your creations. However, should you choose not to use these ingredients, shelf life for the lotion and body spray drops to about 2 weeks. Refrigeration is then your best answer.

Finally, if you have any questions about process or preservatives, rely on your handy friend, Mr. Internet. There are many, many experts out there that make these items regularly, who offer great substitution advice.

Head over to for recipes and instructions.