The 21st Century Herbalist

DIY Gift Ideas: Orange Body Butter

It’s time again for another great DIY gift for the holidays!  This easy recipe can be made and poured into pretty jars, and it makes a great gift for teachers, co-workers, neighbors, family and friends. The refreshing orange scent is an invigorating treat on those early mornings when you just can’t seem to wake up!  It is a burst of citrus that isn’t too sweet and will make you feel clean and happy. This intense moisturizer is also great for combating dry skin that the winter weather can bring.

You’ll need:

Base Oils

  • 4 oz. mango butter (or cocoa butter, which will create a sweeter, dessert scent rather than a fresh, citrus scent)
  • 2 oz. shea butter
  • 1 oz. coconut oil
  • 1/2 oz. beeswax
  • 3 oz. apricot kernel or grapeseed oil


  • 2 oz. distilled water or herbal floral water of your choice (click here for brewing instructions)
  • 1 oz. of aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 tsp. desert salt or cosmetic-grade borax

Additional Oils

  • 5-6 drops or 1 capsule of Vitamin E oil
  • 9 drops of orange essential oil
  • 2 drops of lemon essential oil

Making this body butter requires the same steps that making lotion requires. I feel like it is easier to make lotion by watching the brewing and mixing process rather than by reading it, so why not check out this “Basic Lotion Making” video tutorial from my “Lotion Making” series back in March.  Replace the ingredients listed in the video with the ingredients listed above. They will be broken into the same three categories: base oils, water and additional oils.

Make sure you put a note on the butter letting the recipient know that body butter is best used after a nice hot shower when your pores are open and will quickly absorb this deep moisturizer. Body butter is thicker than regular lotion and a little goes a long way, so use sparingly at first, until you learn how fast (or slow) your body absorbs the butter.  It may feel or look greasy when initially applied but hang in there for just a few minutes, once you’ve rubbed it into your skin, it will be absorbed and the shine will quickly disappear. You won’t even know that you’ve applied a product to your skin except that it will feel hydrated and will smell great!

You should also note that this creamy butter will last for up to eight months stored at room temperature (and probably beyond that). Just to be safe though, if you think that it will take you longer than eight months to use the butter, store it in the refrigerator, rather than in a bathroom cabinet.

For more easy DIY holiday gifts check out these other posts in the “DIY Gift Ideas” series:

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