Creating a wellness basket is a great way to give herbal love to friends and family. Personalize your herbal creations for the person you are gifting to. Wellness baskets also make great gifts for coworkers, teachers, and others in your circle who you may feel obligated to gift to.
A wellness basket is different from a standard gift basket. While a standard gift basket may contain chocolate, cookies, toys, stuffed animals, or any number of interesting goodies, they are not always beneficial to health. A wellness basket focuses on items that you can batch-create, that will not harm the recipients health and have a good chance of being used.
For your wellness basket, start with thinking about who you can gift one to. Once you have a few people in mind, think about what items may work for more than one person, and batch create those herbal treats, and products. Three to five items, per basket, is a good number to aim for. Depending on how close you are with the recipient, you could increase the number of items.
Handmade Soaps for your Wellness Basket:
Commercial soaps frequently contain harmful chemicals, as well as artificial perfumes and fragrances which can act as endocrine disruptors. Create your own melt-and-pour herbal soaps as part of your wellness baskets, to help promote health with your family and friends.
Gold Frankincense and Myrrh soap is one of the awesome, new, soap recipes you can try. It was inspired by the nativity story, with the herbal benefits of golden seal, frankincense essential oil, and myrrh essential oil . The addition of gold mica adds glitz to this specialty soap.
Continuing with a winter theme, this snowflake melt and pour soap features a deep blue soap background with a brilliant white snowflake design on top. The contrasting colors help it stand out, and the soap is simple enough for a beginner to make.
Pumpkin spice soap, or candy cane soap are two more festive options to add to your gift baskets. These are cold processed soap, so are a bit more challenging to make than melt and pour. However, once you master the technique for cold processed soap the rest is easy.
If you’re creating a wellness basket for a gardener, this melt and pour coffee soap is another great option. It helps get dirt, grime, and grease off your hands while being a gentle enough abrasive that it doesn’t harm the skin.
If your focus is more of a cosmetic wellness basket, this dead sea clay facial soap would also be a great addition. You could almost assemble a basket out of just soaps!
Balms and Salves:
Balms and salves are a lighter version of body butters. The main difference is there’s no water in homemade balm or salve, and it’s not whipped. You can create a balm for anyone on your list that includes their favorite essential oil scents, or for a specific need that they might have. Balms and salves can also be made in batches, so you get multiple containers that can be gifted to multiple people, out of one batch.
This gold, frankincense, and myrrh salve is a fun option to start with, and goes well with the soap mentioned above, and the bath bomb mentioned below. Consider using a theme for your wellness basket with soap, salves, and lotion bars in the same family — all pumpkin spice, or all frankincense and myrrh, for instance.
This lavender scented hand salve is great for any gardeners on your list, or for anyone who works hard with their hands. It is hydrating for skin, and soothing for the chapping and cracking that can happen when your hands get too dry from work.
If you’re creating a wellness basket for a guy, this bayberry and hemp beard balm may be perfect to include. It also works well as a mustache wax, though the hold won’t be quite as strong. It can also be used on hair, if desired.
If you are crafting a wellness basket for someone with arthritis, or another challenge where joints get stiff and chilled, this warming salve is ideal. It works by helping to increase circulation in the area. Just remember to put a note not to use it on broken skin, as it will sting.
Everyone gets headaches, and this headache soothing salve is a great option. It uses different essential oils that are known to help soothe headaches.
Lastly, if you know someone who loves the outdoors, or working with wood, this pine salve may be the perfect addition to their wellness basket. It’s main uses are to draw out things like slivers, bits of gravel, and other irritants that get in or under your skin.
Bath Bombs and Bath Salts:
Help your gift recipient relax with these de-stressing bath bombs. Another great bath bomb option are these rose bath bombs, scented with rose geranium essential oil. You can also make many other bath bomb scents and types to fit with what you need for your gift baskets.
If you decide to go with the gold, frankincense and myrrh soap above, you might also want to try the bath bomb version. It could help you create a wellness basket themed around gold, and the healing properties of frankincense and myrrh resins.
These lavender and oatmeal bath bombs are both sweetly scented, and are highly soothing to the skin. Another herbal version are these dandelion bath bombs, though both of these options require a bit more bath tub clean up afterward.
If bath bombs seem a bit too complex, or you don’t have the ingredients around. You can also make bath salts. Bath salts are basically dead-sea, or other magnesium rich salts, infused with essential oils. With the winter holidays at hand, these fir-needle bath salts are a great option for bringing the holidays to the bathtub, or for making after the holidays are over so you don’t waste that Christmas tree.
Another, less common, option is to make giant bath tea-bags for sweetly scented herbal baths. These bath teas can be made with herbs from your garden, or that you wild harvest. Just make sure to include instructions in how to use them!
If your gift recipient doesn’t have a bath-tub, shower melts are another option to bring sweet scents into their daily shower ritual. These tablets are meant to be placed where the shower flow can just hit them, and they’ll slowly dissolve while releasing their aromatic benefits. These can also help with the winter sniffles, for adults or for kids.
A salt, or sugar, scrub can also be rejuvenating and is easy to package in small, medium, or large amounts. This one, inspired by the Holy Land, is a great option for including in a wellness basket.
Candles are a great option for including in your wellness basket. Nothing quite beats the ambiance of soft candle light, from a homemade beeswax candle, or the sweet scent of genuine beeswax.
Traditionally, beeswax candles were used on Christmas trees for lighting. Now we have safer electrical lights, but the small size of beeswax candle is still great for use in table top advent wreaths, or with some decorations that require candles. You can make taper-sized rolled beeswax candles as well.
A tea-cup candle is a more secure option, that can great enhance the atmosphere and beauty of an area while it is being used. Tea cup candles can also be made in teacups with designs that reflect the recipients interests. Tea cups are often inexpensive at thrift stores.
If you have a friend who is concerned about animal products, bayberry candles can be a decent substitute for beeswax, with many of the same benefits. Bayberry has a much lighter scent, and is a more fragile and expensive wax.
Liqueurs and Extracts:
Liqueurs and extracts need to be started at least a month before you plan to gift them. The main hands-on with these items is the set-up time, the straining, and the packaging, so they’re a very forgiving gift option. They also look spectacular, and taste delicious.
Made with dried, frozen, or fresh cherries this DIY cherry liqueur is a great gift option. Package small for wellness baskets, or package in larger bottles as a focal point. It has a rich ruby tone, and is great for use in trifle, baking, over ice-cream, or just on it’s own.
If someone on your list loves coffee, this DIY coffee liqueur can be a great option. Make with different types of beans for different flavor impact. Goes great over vanilla ice-cream, makes it like an affogato. Also goes well in hot chocolate, or to make spiked coffee.
For the person who enjoys baking as one of their hobbies, this DIY vanilla extract is another sweet idea. Homemade vanilla extract is rich and sensual and well worth the time to craft at home.
Combine two delicious flavors with this chocolate mint extract. Not only is it made with fresh or dried mint leaves, but also whole cacao nibs, bringing the true flavors of both mint and chocolate to the fore. This is a great extract for baking, and can be converted to a liqueur if desired.
There is also this great chocolate extract, just on it’s own. The focus for this one is cacao nibs, and whole vanilla bean if desired. While great for baking, it is also easily converted to a liqueur for greater enjoyment.
Adding at least one non-consumable item to the wellness basket is a great idea. The following are some beneficial crafts that also have health or soothing benefits. Most of these can be made in an afternoon or less, or be batch created. While many people enjoy gift baskets that are entirally made of consumable, or edible, products, I find it nice to have one item that is a little more tangible and can be used multiple times throughout the year.
This lavender eye pillow is designed for headache and stress relief. It can be used hot or cold, and would be awesome paired with lavender bath bombs and a beeswax candle.
A turmeric dyed silk scarf can be used therapeutically, as healing cloth, or decoratively for those who thrive with brilliant colors. A silk scarf is light enough to include in a mailed gift, and bright enough to liven up a traditional basket style presentation. Turmeric is easy to dye with, even if you’ve never dyed anything before. Just put down newspaper, and be prepared to wipe up spills immediately as turmeric is a strong colorant.
Back to You
If you are looking for ways to DIY Christmas gifts and make happy Christmas memories while living within the health and budget constraints that have been handed to you this year, I created a resource that will help.
This DIY Christmas Planner workbook will help you make a solid plan you can live with for a Happy Holiday season. You’ll find inspiring DIY gift ideas, space to reflect on what is important to you, and a place to set goals for bringing a happy and meaningful Christmas to your family this year.
Get on Santa’s Permanent Nice list by staying organized, calm, and in control this Christmas Season.