The Gift of DIY Sugar Scrubs

How to Make Sugar Scrubs

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DIY gifts can help to alleviate the stress of wasting time and money at busy department stores buying gifts that you are hoping will bring brief seconds of holiday cheer to your friends, family and the dreaded co-worker secret Santa recipient. Handcrafted practical gifts such as bath salts, sugar scrubs, and lotions are not only cheap to make when crafting in bulk but are also painlessly quick and easy! After a couple quick trips to the natural food store and the dollar store you can turn your home into an essential oil heaven for the afternoon while making gifts for dozens of people on your holiday list.
So, for those of us expected to gift all forty co-workers, sixteen cousins, mom, dad, our own brothers and sisters plus their kids, in-laws (even potential in-laws), your best friend and the inevitable friends that you aren’t even particularly close to but you know they have already bought you something and you therefore feel obligated to as well-this Snow Bunny has the solution for you. This is your “how to” guide to making cheap, easy sugar scrubs.
What you’ll need:
• Mason Jars (reuse spaghetti jars!)
• Fabric (cut up an old shirt!)
• Decoration materials- hot glue gun, markers, old pictures, newspaper, ribbons and bows
• Sugar-white, brown, or coconut but raw is best! (Think bulk section…)
• Essential Oils
• Oil-coconut, olive, avocado but go organic!
• Vanilla and/or almond extract
• Mixing bowl/bucket
• Funnel (helpful but not mandatory)


Typically, when I make sugar scrubs, I make them in bulk so it is helpful to have a large bucket to use as you concoct your magical bath treats. I find it best to do this project in the kitchen where you can feel free to make as big of a mess as you want to sweep up the extras and make a “mixer blend” as a final jar for your secret Santa gift. If you do not have a tiled space, spreading newspaper on the ground makes for easy clean up or delaying cleanup will make for a delightful vacuuming experience later on.

Sugar, Fragrance and Oil Choices

White sugar will work just as well as any other but raw sugar is going to have more of a “scrubbing” effect. Depending on your essence blend you may want to use brown sugar for its syrupy scent or coconut sugar for a different essence.

Some essences blend better than others but in my opinion the keeping it simple is best when combining oils. The smell of any type of oil used is typically very mild and won’t have much influence on the final product. Do keep in mind when working with coconut oil that you may need to heat it up since it is solid at room temperature. I typically use whatever oil is on sale in bulk.

No matter what size of jar you are using there is one simple recipe to follow to create a nice sugar scrub for your beloveds- 4 parts sugar to 1 part oil. In other words, 75% of your concoction will be sugar with 25% being oil plus added essential oils.

It is easiest to blend together by adding the sugar before the oil. Allow the oil to penetrate the sugar for a couple minutes before attempting to stir together. For each medium sized mason jar I recommend about 10 drops of essential oil in total. When blending only a couple of drops of two or three different scents goes a long way.

Honey & Brown Sugar
1 cup brown sugar + ¼ cup olive oil + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1tsp honey
Vanilla Lavendar
1 cup white sugar + ¼ cup coconut oil + 1 tsp vanilla extract c+ 5 drops lavender
Cucumber Mint
1 cup white sugar + ¼ cup olive oil + 5 drops peppermint + 4 drops cucumber
Orange Spice
1 cup brown sugar + ¼ cup oil + 5 drops orange + 5 drops cinnamon

These are just a few of many potential combinations of scents and flavors. After creating your crafty combos use the funnel to fill your jars. Have fun in your experimentation and know that your thoughtfulness will be well received by those lucky enough to receive your handcrafted goodies!


Each jar can become individually special by adding a special touch to the inside or outside. If you have glass containers you can place a picture on the inside before filling. If you have found mason jars with the removable rim, simply cutting a piece of fabric or old t-shirt, placing it on top of the jar and replacing the screw on rim creates a writable surface to place a “To and From” label. With the use of a glue gun you can glue ribbons and bows, pictures, holiday decorations to the outside to add a more festive look.
Make each jar its own unique item, to be loved and appreciated and have fun creating your gifts!

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About Whitney Chandler

I am a Colorado native with an unfettering love for the West. I grew up riding, hiking, biking and climbing the Rocky Mountains and am looking forward to exploring what Idaho has to offer since moving here in August of 2014.
I am a recent graduate of Colorado Mountain College with a Bachelor’s in Sustainability Studies. I want to ensure that these mountains are still providing epic seasons for future generations to enjoy. While holding down jobs at Moon’s Kitchen and Java in Hyde Park, I enjoy writing about environmental issues, stories that empower women and poetry.