STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

How to make bath salts

''One home-made present that will definitely be appreciated post-party season is luxury bath salts,'' says Danielle. ''Created with herbs and essential oils and blended especially for the recipient it's a really special gift - ideal for over-indulgent friends!''

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How to make bath salts

You will need:

  • Epsom salts and baking soda (in equal parts)
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Essential oils and herbs or blooms and petals.
    It's worth looking into the blends that you use so that you can create mixes that suit the recipient's lifestyle. Lavender, for example, is a sleep inducer while rosemary clears the head and peppermint soothes indigestion.
  • Glass paint or scraps of wallpaper

Step 1: Mix Epsom salts and baking soda in equal measures with your hands. You can add food colouring (a few drops at a time) at this point if you like - wear gloves if you do this.

Step 2: Add the essential oils, a few drops at a time. The total amount of scent needed will vary based on the oils used. Some are more potent than others, so it's worth asking when you buy them.

You can try blending the oils for different scents which can throw up fantastic results, though unless you are a 'nose' (a trained professional in the perfume industry), stick to simple combinations such as sandalwood and vanilla, or rosemary and peppermint.

Be sure to add scent a tiny bit at a time and stick to the mantra that less is more. You can buy ready-blended scents. Aura Cacia has some fabulous blends (Tranquillity is excellent), the Body Shop sells perfume oils in various blends and Neil's Yard is a one-stop shop for such things.

Step 3: As with any gift, presentation is crucial. See if you can get hold of a few old glass drink decanters from a charity shop and colour them using glass paint - this looks delightful - but if you can't find those, use a plain jar and cover the inside with interesting wallpaper.