Recipe of the Week: A Spa Day for Mom!

At top, turbinado sugar, at bottom white sugar; coffee on the left.
At top, turbinado sugar, at bottom white sugar; coffee on the left.

Recently, a group of friends and I challenged each other to come up with gifts that were homemade–and home sourced! I put together a Coffee And Sugar Body Scrub: so easy! And…there’s enough time to whip up several before Mother’s Day on Sunday!

First, some background. We’re all trying to use less, dispose of less, and generally have a smaller footprint. So we started the “Home Sourced Challenge.” In other words, to make gifts (regifting is OK too!) and then ‘wrap’ or package the items in containers or papers that we already had. Many of us are now saving jars like these, in odd or pretty shapes, just in case.The whole idea is to just live more mindfully, sharing of ourselves. I realized that the Coffee-Sugar Scrub might make a great Mother’s Day project too, as a solo gift, or part of a “spa day for mom” gift basket.

Sugars, olive oil and coffee all mixed and ready to use.
Sugars, olive oil and coffee all mixed and ready to use.

As a baker, I always have oils, sugars, flavorings and things like that in the house. After some research, I was able to put together the following base recipe that you can tweak to your heart’s content. It’s enough to fill a quart Ball Jar. (I used one of the Vintage Style Ball Jars which I happened to have handy–it’s good to work at Lehman’s!)

Body Scrub Recipe

  • 1-1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1-1/4 cup fine turbinado sugar (raw sugar; or swap in brown sugar, lightly packed, or double the amount of white sugar)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

For scent I added: Two tablespoons fine ground coffee

USA-made (here in Ohio) a set of three perfectly sized bowls. now in stock at Lehman’s in Kidron or

Everything was mixed together in a ceramic bowl, and packed into the jar. The easiest way to pack the jar is to use a canning jar funnel.The stainless steel ones let the sugar mixture slide in neatly.

Put some sugar mixture in through the funnel, shake the jar to level, and continue. Use a small spoon to pack it evenly as the jar fills. This is a great scrub, especially for feet, knees, elbows and hands.

I ground the coffee very finely, so the sugar mixture could also work as a body scrub. Be aware that commercially ground coffee may need a whirl in the blender or food processor to be made extra-fine–otherwise, it may scratch skin!

After I had everything packed in, I dug up some ribbon that I had left from another project, and glued it in place on the rim of the jar, and tied more around the front to make it look a little more festive.

Remember: this isn’t just a “Mom gift.” It would work well as a bridesmaids’ thank-you from a grateful bride, as a birthday or graduation gift; and with some liquid soap added after opening, it wouldn’t be out of place in a man’s workshop. The sugars and coffee do a great job scrubbing away grease and ground-in grunge.

Use scraps of ribbon or trim to dress up your gift--no fair buying new! Use what's handy.
Use scraps of ribbon or trim to dress up your gift–no fair buying new! Use what’s handy.

Some Advice:
Mix and store your homemade goodies in ceramic or glass. They’re non-reactive. If you choose to add essential oils or flower bits to your scrubs, you won’t get the odd reactions that you might get if you store the final product in metals or plastics. But be careful with ceramic and glass containers in the bath!

This is a fairly mild, very moisturizing body scrub, and it’s a great idea to add to your homemade gift repertoire. The original recipe is simple, with ingredients most of us have in our cupboards. (Swap in tea leaves if you don’t have coffee.)

A few minutes’ search on the web will show you all kinds of add-ins: oatmeal, lavender, citrus peels, scents, even different combinations of oils.

Be aware that although the sugars will dissolve in the shower or bathwater; other things, like the flower buds, coffee, and other ‘smell good’ ingredients may not, and may need wiped out.

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