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all natural candles and cleaners - hostess gift set

Designer Jen St. Clair from Little Sprout Creations is here with a fantastic HANDMADE GIFT TUTORIAL today! These All Natural Mandarin Mint Candles and Cleaning Sprays are wonderfully creative ideas for homemade hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and more. After reading about the all-natural cleaning sprays below (and seeing how easy they are to mix up), I’m actually excited just to try this “recipe” out in our own house too!

Jen also designed some super stylish labels & gift tags for each item that include the ingredient lists, and is generously including the labels as FREE PRINTABLE downloads with the tutorials below. Thanks, Jen! :)

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DIY DETAILS, as told by Jen

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Finding that perfect, original gift is tough. Finding that perfect, original gift while trying to keep within your holiday budget? Even tougher. Homemade gifts are a great way to give unique gifts and save money, and today we’ll show you how to make a great gift AND help you make it into a picture perfect presentation with free printable labels!

This all-natural, mandarin-mint scented cleaning set is a perfect choice for your holiday hostess, that friend who just moved into her dream house, your daughter’s violin teacher.  The set includes an all-natural window and mirror cleaner, an all-natural countertop spray, a soy wax candle, organic cotton towels and sweet mandarin oranges, all tucked into a cozy basket.

I have to admit, I didn’t think that all-natural cleaners would really work. At least not as well as windex, or or my clorox countertop spray.  But after trying a natural window cleaner recipe from a friend, I’m a believer.  I tested windex and the all-natural blend side by side, on a toddler fingerprinted window, and seriously, I think the all-natural blend worked better! Plus, it smelled much better, and is much safer for use around my curious toddlers. Over the last year, I’ve played around with the ingredient amounts, and the recipes below work best for me.

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all natural cleaners - homemade gift idea

All-Natural Mandarin Mint Mirror & Window Cleaner

12 oz spray bottle (Mine are from The Container Store.)
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/2 tsp liquid dish detergent
3 drops of mandarin orange/tangerine/sweet orange essential oil (check out AuraCacia essential oils, which are also available at Whole Foods and other natural stores)
3 drops of peppermint essential oil

Tips:
Mix well before each use to avoid streaks.
Add more or less (or different type of) essential oil depending on your scent preferences.
Use newspaper instead of paper towels for an incredible, streak-less clean.  It’s true!

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All-Natural Mandarin Mint Countertop Spray

12 oz spray bottle (Mine are from The Container Store.)
– 3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp liquid dish detergent
10 drops of mandarin orange/tangerine/sweet orange essential oil (AuraCacia essential oils available at Whole Foods and other natural stores)
10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Tips:
Mix well before each use to avoid streaks.
Add more or less (or different type of) essential oil depending on your scent preferences.

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all natural wax candle - homemade gift idea

All-Natural Mandarin Mint Soy Candle

natural soy wax “for container candles”  (I love cargill’s c-3 naturewax.)
standard wicks  (This pack from candlewic is great.)
– mandarin orange/tangerine/sweet orange essential oil  (AuraCacia essential oils available at Whole Foods and other natural stores.)
– peppermint essential oil
jar  (For this batch, I used a sampling of hermetic jars from The Container Store, and some cleaned-out food jars.)
melting pot (You can get a standard wax pot from any craft supply store, or simply use an old sauce pot. Depending on what oils you use though, be careful about reusing the pot for cooking, as some oils are toxic when ingested.)

INSTRUCTIONS:

homemade candle - diy tutorial images

Get a large pot of water boiling on your stove.

Fill your melting pot with wax chips.

Hold melting pot in boiling water, as if you’re melting chocolate.

Stir wax occasionally.  As it starts to melt, you can add more wax chips in (depending on how many candles you’re making.)  For stirring, I use the non-business end of a wooden spoon.

Within about 5 minutes, your wax should be nearly melted.  The wax will go from solid chips, to a cloudy-chunky mixture, to a completely clear, yellow-tinted liquid.

Add your oils – keep smelling until it’s the concentration that you’d like.

Grab your wicks, place them into your jars, and pour in the wax.  To hold the wicks in place, I typically wrap the “lighting” end of the wick around a skewer and lay the skewer across the lip of the jar.

Allow your candles to set.  This usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your jar.

Trim your wicks – i usually trim mine to about 3/4”-1”.

Add your gorgeous label (we’ll design and print some for you!)

Place near your nose, smell, and enjoy your hard work.

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LABELS & PRESENTATION (Free Printables)

Once you’ve made your all-natural cleaners and candle, it’s time to get them prettied up for giving.  Print our free printable labels (with list of ingredients and ‘to & from’ text areas!) onto full sheet labels or cardstock. (Find links to download below.)  Glossy or waterproof labels will help ensure that cleaner droplets won’t make your ink run during use.  I’m a huge fan of Labels by the Sheet.

CANDLE LABELS: Click to download in PDF or JPEG.

free printable lables for homemade candles

CLEANER LABLES: Click to download in PDF or JPEG format.free printable labels for all natural cleaners

For the perfect presentation, fill a small basket with excelsior (container store has both), and tuck the cleaners and candle inside, padded with either an organic cotton towel, or a few natural, biodegradable sponges.  For the sponges, twist brand is great & available at Whole Foods. Tuck in a few mandarin oranges to complete the set, and attach our included ‘Handmade with love’ gift tag (included on the candle label printable).

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P.S. Have other homemade gifts you’d like custom labels for?  At Little Sprout Creations, we use our passion for graphic design & handcrafted paper goods to turn your idea seedlings into blossoming celebrations, complete with invitations, decorations, favors, and more. Contact us for information.

HWTM Readers get 10% OFF in the Little Sprout Creations shop with the promo code: HOSTESS10!”