Gardening season is here! That means most days my hands will be in the dirt doing something. Planting flowers, pulling weeds, and picking vegetables can all take their toll on our hands. The solution…gardener’s salve.
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Gardener’s salve is the perfect way to moisturize your hands after a long day of outdoor work. Whether you have a large garden or just a couple of flower pots, this moisturizing salve is sure to soften your skin.
But it doesn’t have to be used exclusively by gardeners. It can be used for cracked heels also. It would make a nice Mother’s Day gift if Mom is a gardener, but put a different label on it and it would be perfect for the Dad who is a mechanic or has unusually dry skin. This gardener’s salve uses only natural ingredients and if you have made any of my other DIY projects, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand.
What is a gardener’s salve?
A salve is an oil-based formula used to soothe dry, cracked, rough skin. It is typically made from various moisturizing oils and butters, sometimes with beeswax and sometimes without.
Most recipes floating around the web call for you to purchase dried herbs and flowers. You then infuse the oil with the dried plants. As a busy Mom, I don’t have time to do all that. To keep it simple, we are using essential oils and if you don’t have those, the salve will still work just fine without them.
Supplies for Gardener’s Salve
If you have made any of my DIY projects from earlier, you may already have most of these ingredients on hand. If not, most can be found reasonably priced on Amazon.
- coconut oil
- grapeseed oil
- shea butter
- essential oils-I used lavender, but tea tree, rosemary, eucalyptus, and/or peppermint would also be nice. Plant Therapy is my favorite brand.
- a saucepan to hold water
- a pyrex measuring cup to melt the oils in
- a spoon to stir
- a container to pour the salve in-I used these tins
How to make Gardener’s Salve
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons shea butter (1 oz. by weight)
- 2 Tablespoons beeswax
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
First, measure the grapeseed oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax into the pyrex container. Set aside. Add about 2″ water to a saucepan and place the pyrex container in the saucepan. Be sure that the water will not splash into the pyrex container. Set this make-shift double boiler over medium heat. As the mixture melts, stir occasionally. The coconut oil will be the first to melt and the beeswax will be the last.
Remove the pyrex container from the water bath when the beeswax is almost melted. Stir to finish melting.
Once everything has melted, allow the mixture to cool slightly. Stir in the lavender essential oil. Dry the bottom of the pyrex container. Then, pour into the tins while the mixture is still warm.
This makes enough for 3 tins. Leave the lids off the tins until the salve is completely cool. Once cool, put the lids on and label as you would like. I used the Avery Design & Print Software to make these labels.
It is easiest to clean up the measuring cup and spoon while everything is still warm. Using a paper towel, wipe out the pyrex measuring cup and the spoon and wash in warm soapy water or toss them in the dishwasher.
How to Use this Gardener’s Salve
Using this gardener’s salve is easy. After coming in from the garden, wash your hands well. Dip a finger into the container and remove a small amount. Rub over hands to condition and protect them. It is also a good idea to apply another layer before bed. You can also use this on your feet to condition dry heels.
More Gift Ideas
A homemade bar of exfoliating soap or a lip balm would make a nice addition to this gift, especially if you are planning on gifting this to Mom for Mother’s Day. There are also plenty of other nice Mother’s Day gift ideas under the DIY tab on my blog.
Making homemade gifts doesn’t have to take very long. It shows family and friends how much you care. Do you ever make homemade gifts for family? What is your favorite gift to give?