Handmade Gifts: Lotion Bars



I’ve made a few other beauty products from home, but I’ve never tried lotion bars! It looked a little complicated for some reason (it isn’t at all), so I always avoided it. My handmade gift series compelled me to give it a shot, and I’m so glad I did!


Ingredients: (you’ll use about equal parts of shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil)

shea butter, I got mine here

beeswax pellets, I got mine here

Coconut oil, you can find at your grocery store

Vitamin E, also at a grocery store or Whole Foods

Essential Oil, I grabbed the vanilla scent from Michaels, but any essential oil you like will work!



a mason jar for dedicated use for lotion making (Or one you want to throw away. It’s not worth the hassle of cleaning)

a spoon dedicate for lotion making, or one you want to throw away

hot pads


soap mold, I got mine at Michaels


I’ve found that you can be a little flexible with the ingredients based on all the other recipes I’ve compared online. It seems most common to mix equal parts of shea butter, beeswax pellets and coconut oil, so depending on the amount of lotion bars you are making, you can go from there. I used 2 oz portions of each of the items I just listed, and that was enough to make 3 lotion bars of approximately the same size (a little smaller than the palm of my hand).

1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a gentle boil.

2. Drop equal parts shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax pellets into a mason jar.


3. Place mason jar in boiling water, and allow the ingredients to melt (should take about 8-12 minutes). It will be 100% liquid one it’s fully melted.


4. Very carefully, remove hot mason jar from the pot with pot holders, and place in a safe place in order to add the last ingredients.

5. Drop in anywhere from 10-15 drop of essential oil, or fragrance of choice. At this time you’ll also pierce 2 Vitamin E capsules with a knife and squeeze the contents into the mason jar as well. Swirl together.


6. Carefully pour liquid into mold, making sure the mold is completely flat and even.


7. Allow to set until completely cool, and then pop them out and wrap them up! I was a bit distracted while these were cooling, so I’m not exactly sure how long it takes for them to cool. I’d say anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. You’ll know they are cool when they turn white in color and are solid.


I found this perfect packaging at World Market (that seems to be a theme thus far in the handmade gift series!) and the lotion bars fit in the boxes perfectly! I also think it would be beautiful (and in hindsight I wish I did this) to put some pressed flowers in the mold before you pour in the liquid so the tops of the bars have a little decoration!

Another packaging option is to tie 2-3 lotion bars that are stacked together with some string, and stick some flowers on top of the stack.

These really are simple to make, and the personal touch of fragrance and packaging would make this a perfect gift!

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Comments (68)

  1. Corrina says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Love this! ( though I don’t know how many will make it as gifts!)

    • Genny says
      Posted December 20, 2014

      I am making them as gifts now 🙂

  2. Laura says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Can’t wait to try!!!

  3. Lisa says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Love these! Do the lucky recipients carry them in baggies or is this stay at home lotion?

    • Kate says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      it’s up to them! It could easily be put in a bag for travel, or you can keep it in a box to use at home!

    • Chelsey says
      Posted November 23, 2014

      I make these all the time for work. I buy push up lotion containers or deodorant containers and that way they are portable and there is less mess when applying!

  4. Jenny says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    How fun! I love making gifts for people. Last Christmas I received homemade laundry detergent from my little cousins, and it was the best detergent I’ve ever used! Homemade products are so much nicer!
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

    • Kate says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      oh I haven’t looked into that yet!

      • Posted November 20, 2014

        I’ve seen several ‘recipes’ on pinterest for homemade detergents…let me know if you try one. I haven’t built up the courage to give it a go!

        • Adrienne says
          Posted November 20, 2014

          I have one I absolutely love and now my whole family uses it :). It is awesome for HE washers and I swear cleans my clothing better. It also smells so good!

          1 box washing soda (find in the laundry aisle)
          1 box borax
          1 bar Zote
          1 bar Fels Naptha
          ~1/2 container of Purex Crystals (I prefer the blue and just pour until the concentration looks good to me)

          Shred the Fels Naptha and Zote, I use my food processor to do this but you can also use a cheese grater and do it by hand. Once all the soap is grated simply mix with washing soda, borax, and Purex crystals. Store in an air tight container or glass jar. If it clumps simply stir through it and break up the clumps. Use 1-2 TBS per load. Enjoy!

          • Adrienne says
            Posted November 20, 2014

            Sorry meant 2 bars Fels Naptha!

          • Cynthia says
            Posted November 21, 2014

            My recipe is so much simpler than the above recipe and my clothes smell fantastic.

            I love hanging clothes to dry in the warmer seasons, but they always smelled weird. When I switched to this homemade detergent, they don’t smell weird anymore… They smell so delightful. I swear that laundry detergent has some sort of weird ick smell activator built in so that you wash more often, therefore buy ore often too.

            Anyway, my recipe is this:
            1 bar of Ivory
            1 cup of borax
            1 cup of washing soda
            — I cut the Ivory into small pieces (it usually crumbles pretty easily, most recipes say to grate it, but that’s so much harder). Through the Ivory, the borax and the washing soda into a processor, grind it so that all the soap chunks are small and pour it into a jar.
            — I use a tablespoon for a regular load, 2 tablespoons for a large or heavily soiled load. I have an HE machine too, works perfectly.

            I also use vinegar as softener.

  5. Kelsye says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Have you ever looked on wellnessmama.com for beauty product recipes? She has everything from mascara to a bronzing lotion bar.


    • valerie says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      Ooh, bronzing lotion bar? I’m checking that out.

  6. Lauren says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    They looked like little EOS chapsticks in the last picture!! haha so cute!! Is anywhere else to buy those products expect off amazon?

    • Kate says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      I’m sure there is, I just haven’t looked around. Perhaps a little googling will help you find them. Or you can search for lotion bar recipes in Pinterest and see where other makers have found the products!

  7. Posted November 20, 2014

    oooh I haven’t tried making them with beeswax yet- great idea! A good tip: if you find it bubbles in the mold after you pour it, just lightly spray a little rubbing alcohol and it’ll dissolve the bubbles. (and by spray, I generally mean put some on your fingertips and flick it on. because I’m lazy like that)

    • Kate says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      good to know!

  8. Bri says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Love this! I am really loving your handmade gift series!!! Can’t wait to see what’s next. 🙂

  9. Jen says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Hi Kate! Was wondering what measurements you used for the equal parts shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax pellets? Thanks!

    • Kristine D says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      In the paragraph below the ingredients list she said she used 2oz of each of those 3 ingredients and that made 3 bars. I guess it would also depend on the size of the molds you were using…

  10. Kristine D says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    These look awesome! How much do you think they cost to make per bar? And how do they work as a lotion? Do they work well or feel too dry or too greasy?

  11. Posted November 20, 2014

    Omg your PIN IT button is so cute! Maybe it’s been there for awhile and I missed it but I just love it!

  12. Posted November 20, 2014

    Those gift boxes are perfect….love the design. Homemade gifts are so nice to give and to receive. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Rebecca Wheaton says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Kate if you are wanting a much safer essential oils to use than store bought that can be filled with fillers and synthetic version of the EOs look into dōTERRA essential oils! Only ones I trust to use on myself and little boys! I just made a peppermint whipped body butter and it’s amazing!

  14. Olivia says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    I absolutely cannot wait to try this!!!!!! This reminds me of some of the products from Lush, which I loooooooove.
    XO – Olivia Ruth

  15. Emma says
    Posted November 20, 2014
  16. kristin says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    silly question but is it soap? or lotion? how do you use a ‘lotion bar’? I’m not familiar with this name. thanks.

    • LauraF says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      I second this. I’m out of the loop… what the heck is a lotion bar?

      • Kate says
        Posted November 20, 2014

        just hard lotion, you can rub it over your body and the warmth of your skin will melt it enough to moisturize dry skin.

    • Jennifer D says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      Yeah, I had the same question, but Google can answer any question! http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-lotion-bar.htm

    • Caroline says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      Haha I posted the same question before actually reading the comments… Glad I’m not the only one confused!

    • Kate says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      Nope, not soap! It’s just a bar of lotion you can rub over your body to moisturize your skin!

    • Bridget says
      Posted December 6, 2014

      Lush and other lines call them massage bars. It’s a moisturizer in a solid form.

  17. Sara W says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    This is awesome! I have everything but the Shea butter and soap mold. Thanks!!!

  18. Tyana says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Love these, they are so nice

    check me out

  19. Megan says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Love this! I’m enjoying your homemade gift series. Now the question is whether I’ll actually get around to using some of these ideas……

  20. Posted November 20, 2014

    I was wondering if you could do a rough estimate as to the cost for each bar of soap that you were able to make with these ingredients? I’ven ever tried making lotion soap before but it seems interesting if it doesn’t break my bank. Thank you!

    • Bridget says
      Posted December 6, 2014

      you can simply add up how much the ingredients cost and divide by 3, since she made 3 bars.

      of course some items like the molds will only have to be purchased once.

  21. Caroline says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    so how exactly are these used? Lotion bars implys lotion like a moisturizer. But they look like soap. So are they used in a shower or after?

    • Kate says
      Posted November 20, 2014

      you can rub them over your body and it will hydrate your skin!

      • Caroline says
        Posted November 21, 2014

        Thanks for the clarification! So fun!

  22. Abby says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    I love this idea, and it’s such a thoughtful gift. I like knowing the exact ingredients, too! Thanks for sharing, Kate!!

    xo Always, Abby

  23. Posted November 20, 2014

    Crazy timing! Just got some hard lotion from here and really like it. I might have to try my own! It has really helped with my dry cracked winter skin!!! http://store.hardlotion.com/Beesilk_Pocket_hard_lotion_bar_p/beesilk-hard-lotion-bar-pocket.htm

  24. Kaitlyn says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    oh my gosh I am so in love with this!!!
    I just made sugar scrub on my blog, love love love bath products so I cannot
    wait to try this one!!

    Kaitlyn xo

  25. Meagan says
    Posted November 20, 2014

    Very cool gift! I’ll have to give this a try!

  26. Lana says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    Love this! Would make great Christmas gifts for my grandparents. Thanks for the DIY 🙂
    – lana (lana-sultana.blogspot.com)

  27. Richelle says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    Hey Kate.i just want to say I’ve been reading your blog for a couple years now .i think your are awesome!i just wanted to ask when your morning sickness started?im 4-6 weeks pregnant & can’t get into obgyn til next week.thank you so much..

    • Leigh Ann says
      Posted November 21, 2014

      Mine started at 5 1/2 weeks if that helps. Typically it shows up by 6 weeks…

    • Kate says
      Posted November 21, 2014

      If I remember it started around 6/8 weeks and lasted until about week 16. Definitely talk to your doc about meds!

  28. Arielle says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    I’m surprised how easy this is! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Sissi says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    Wow I had no idea this is such a easy task! This is a fabulous idea for little christmas presents as well! How wonderful! Now I have to find those moldings! 🙂

  30. Kday says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    What a great idea Kate!! Quick question, any idea of cost to make the soap? Also, have you experimented with other oils/scents?

  31. Gabby says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    This is such a good idea!


  32. Kate says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    I think those are fragrance oils, not essential oils. If you’re using essential oils, you should check to see if they are indicated for use by the recipient (meaning: some oils are not suggested for pregnant women, children, and some other groups).

  33. Amy says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    I love using lotion bars! I used cocoa butter last time. They smell delicious. I put my last batch in empty deodrant containers for easy travel and application. I purchased them from Amazon super cheap.

  34. Marsya says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    Seems easy and inexpensive! Love to make this! Thank you for this post . 🙂


  35. Posted November 21, 2014

    Thank you sooo much. I love to find natural tips like this. Looks like fun to make and it so nice to know that it is made with real ingredients!!! Very cool post!

    Katie Ryan

  36. Miriam says
    Posted November 23, 2014

    Oeh, that’s so cool!

  37. Posted November 25, 2014

    This is such a great idea for Christmas presents! So nice & personal.

  38. Lisa says
    Posted November 26, 2014

    Make sure you are using pure essential oils and not fragrance oils. Those can definitely irritate the skin because they aren’t the same. I love these lotion bars and plan on making them for Christmas gifts.

    • Bridget says
      Posted December 6, 2014

      I was going to say the same thing. PLEASE make sure you are buying/using essential oils – fragrance oils are not for use on the skin.

  39. Kim says
    Posted December 7, 2014

    I made these last year, but I like your recipe so much better! My aunt swears by their healing powers after us on dry heels before bedtime!

  40. Jenn says
    Posted December 9, 2014

    Where did you find the gold feather in your picture?
    P.S. Love your ideas 🙂