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Monday, 21 October 2013

DIY new baby gift- The Gift of Sleep (well, not really)

DIY new baby gift- The Gift of Sleep (well, not really)

Many people have baby showers for the first baby. The new parents are often gifted many of the items that will make life with a new baby easier.
Baby number two is often not celebrated in the same way.  I was very fortunate that a friend hosted a celebratory tea party to mark Audrey's arrival.  I am a believer that every baby should be celebrated in some way, not just the first one.
By the time baby three or more arrive, although there is MUCH joy there is often very little celebration.

Friends of ours just had their third baby. All three of their children are boys. They were very clear that they did not need or want anymore stuff for a baby boy.  As much as I totally understood what they meant (how many onesies can one baby really wear?) I still very much wanted to gift them something as a small way to celebrate this tiny guy.   But what??!!

They had already been given a few months of a cleaning service to help out with the chaos of a new baby. Although I liked the idea of making up a few freezer meals so they didn't have to worry about cooking dinner for a few days, we all know I cannot cook and I didn't want to load another task onto That Guy's shoulders.  I thought on this for days. When asking myself  "What do parents of three boys really want?" the answer "sleep!!!" kept coming back to me.  But how could I give them sleep? I couldn't.   Then the old incandescent light bulb went on on over my head. I couldn't give them more  sleep,  but what if I could help them to get better sleep? Through lavender!

So I came up with this gift set.

Pretty, right?
Now, I will be honest with you, gentle readers.  I almost didn't make this gift set.  Not because I didn't like the concept - I loved my idea- but because the cost was going to be higher than the $8 cap I typically put on my DIY gifts.  I ended up paying a total of $9.25 for this gift, but that is after I sourced out as many "free" items as I could.

This gift set includes a lavender linen spray, two rosemary lavender Tub Tea bags and a lavender beeswax candle. 
To make this gift you will need:
 - a gift box    $1 at the dollar store
- spray bottle   $1 at the dollar store
- a pretty faux lavender stem (optional, just for decoration in the gift box)  $1 at the dollar store
- butchers twine or kitchen string (used for candle wick and to tie on tags) obtained for free by asking on a social networking site if anyone had some they could spare
- distilled water - on hand
- 1/4 cup vodka    most people would have this on hand, but we are not vodka drinkers. So another friend gave me a 1/4 cup.  I have nice friends :)
- lavender essential oil  - on hand   This stuff is sort of expensive to buy initially, but it really is worth it. I have also found that the best prices on oils like these are at local farmers markets. 
- 1/4m muslin from the fabric store - $2.25 after my card holders discount
- dried rosemary - $2 from local grocery store
- 1/2c dried lavender buds - just under $2 from the local health foods store
- mason jar - on hand
- metal washer - on hand
- fresh, local beeswax - given to me for free from a very nice gentleman who knows I love to DIY
- purple tissue paper- on hand
- roll of cellophane - on hand but can be found for $1 at the dollar store
- baking soda - on hand
- Epsom salts - on hand
  
Phew!! That is quite a list!!!

I started with the easiest of the three gift items- the linen spray. I have made linen spray many times before and we really enjoy the soothing sleepy effects of the lavender on our sheets and pillowcases.  
For whatever reason my camera is telling me I do not have photos of this process (even though I am certain I took them).  It really is very simple to make so hopefully you can get by without photos. 
The spray bottle I bought from the dollar store held a 3c capacity.  So in the bottle I put 1 tsp lavender essential oils, 1/4 cup of vodka and filled the rest of the bottle with distilled water.  Put the spray top back on the bottle, shake it up and you're done!! I added a pretty little label to the front of my bottle too.  See? Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Next came the Tub Tea. I had seen these at craft shows in the past and loved the idea.  They are lovely tub soaks contained within an over sized "tea bag" so that lavender buds are not floating around your bath water. I always thought I could make them myself and I am happy I finally did.  

I cut my muslin into approx 4x4inch squares.  The 1/4 m of muslin I bought would be enough to make a little shy of a dozen Tub Tea bags.  But I only wanted to make two. With a quick stitch on the sewing machine I sewed shut three of four sides of the bags.  

In a  container I mixed
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup dried lavender buds 
1/4 cup dried rosemary

Mix it all together. 

all mixed
Then spoon your mixture into the muslin bags. Fill about 3/4 full.  Run a quick stitch down the open end of the bag to close it up.

sewn shut
 I added a little tag to mine and tied them together with my twine. 
done and done
Finally the candle.  I have never ever attempted to make a candle before. I took a length of twine and tied it to the metal washer.  I melted a small amount of beeswax and dripped it into the bottom of the mason jar then pressed the washer into the wax.  The other end of the twine I tied around a pencil and rested the pencil across the mouth of the jar to hold the wick straight.
The candle wick in place
Then I melted the beeswax.  I decided to do this on the stove in a makeshift double boiler.  When the wax was melted I added 20 drops of lavender oil to the wax and mixed it with a spoon.
Wax all melted
 I thought I had melted enough wax to fill the jar but I quickly found out I was mistaken.  I was advised by a friend that one of the best ways to ensure long lasting scent is to add a few drops of oil to the wax every few inches as you pour it into the jar.  I trust said friend so I did exactly that.
half full
 I melted some more beeswax so I would have enough to fill the jar right to the top.  I imagine my candle turned out the way it did because I did it in two batches.  What ended up happening was a crack along the top of the wax.
crack in the wax
 In my infinite wisdom I decided to melt a bit more wax and spoon it into the crack to fill it in.  *sigh* The result was a pretty candle from the top, but a very ugly one from the side.  The cooled wax in the jar must separate from the glass ever so slightly.  Because that newly melted and spooned wax did fill the cracks and ran in tiny wax rivers down the inside of the jar.  The people I made the gift set for are good hearted people and will appreciate the spirit of the gift and will  over look the ugly candle, I am sure.
Lesson learned for next time though.

Then I put everything into the gift box and tied the cellophane shut with some ribbon.
This entire gift took me 70 minutes from start to finish and I really love the results.  Hope you do too, gentle  readers!





1 comment:

  1. I love this idea!!! Super cute

    ReplyDelete