Homemade beauty goodies: herbal bath bags
If it’s the thought that counts with your lot at Christmas, these DIY aromatic bath time treats will go down a treat. They’ve got bags of charm and are easy enough for homemade beauty novices. ‘Most people do not realise how easy it is to make beauty products at home,’ says Karen Gilbert, author of Natural Beauty, and creator of the recipe below.
‘There is something very therapeutic about hand-crafting a product from scratch – just like creating a meal from fresh ingredients, it does take a little bit more time and knowledge than grabbing something off the shelf, but the results are worth it.’
You can even mix up the herbal blend to make these little treats the perfect personalised present. Keen gardener? Make use of your herb patch to use in your homemade products. If not, no problem. ‘If like me, you have no time, talent, or inclination for gardening, using dried herbs or liquid extracts is fine,’ says Karen.
But don’t use them loose in the bath – keep them wrapped up in muslin so they won’t block a pluhghole or stick to your skin. As Karen says: ‘You want to emerge relaxed and serene from a delicious herbal bath, not covered in bits of soggy leaf and twig.’ We couldn’t agree more!
For each bag you will need…
1 tbsp of your chosen herb mix (see below) or just 1 or 2 herbs mixed together
Purifying: rosemary, nettle, fennel, lavender
Relaxing: chamomile, jasmine, hops, valerian
Skin-soothing: chickweed, oats, calendula
Jar or bowl
20cm square of muslin
Length of narrow ribbon or natural twine
1 Mix the herbs in a glass jar or bowl.
2 Cut a muslin square and place a tablespoon of the mixture in the middle.
3 Place the elastic band over your thumb and forefinger and gather up the muslin into a pouch.
4 Secure the herbs inside with the elastic band, twisting and wrapping it several times.
5 Tie with ribbon, twine, or a strip of muslin to hide the elastic band.
If you’re really showing off…
It’s all in the presentation. Fill a glass storage jar with the little treats or place a few in a gift box tied with a ribbon. If you’re confident with a sewing machine, you could cut squares of muslin approximately 8-10cm square with pinking shears so they look like ravioli. Sew along three sides, fill with the herbs, then sew the final side closed.
The above recipe is taken from Natural Beauty by Karen Gilbert (CICO Books, £12.99). For further info, visit www.cicobooks.co.uk. Karen Gilbert runs workshops around the UK; see www.karengilbert.co.uk for more
Photography by Stuart West