02 November 2012

DIY Handmade Lemon Basil Solid Lotion Bar Recipe

This post is written by contributing author Rebecca D. Dillon.
I've been wanting to make solid lotion bars for a while, but wasn't quite sure what to use for the mold. Not wanting to go to the extra expense of purchasing molds at this point, I kept putting this project off. Then I polished off a 3.6 oz. single serving of Starbucks Java Chip Frappucino Ice Cream one night and realized that the container made the perfect mold! I just washed it out like I would a dish and let it dry. Alternately, if you're pinching pennies at the moment like I am, you can also use a muffin tin as a mold. Unfortunately, this is one kitchen item I still remain without though I'm hoping not for long. A silicon muffin mold would be ideal if you're you're planning on making soaps and solid lotion bars to gift this holiday season.

DIY Handmade Lemon Basil Solid Lotion Bar - Simple DIY Craft Project for Gift Giving
I do realize this is fall and everyone is all about warm and spicy fragrances. But me, well, I like fresh clean scents year round and I thought that some of you may as well. So my recipe is for making your own Lemon Basil Scented Solid Lotion Bar. However, to appease those of you who must have a fall or winter themed lotion bar, I'm giving you an option too. As I'm just getting over a cold, I'm throwing in an alternate scent blend for helping to relieve those icky coughs and chest congestion.

To get started you will need the following:
  • a mold that holds approximately 3.5 oz. - come on, you know you want an excuse to buy coffee ice cream!
  • a glass pyrex measuring cup or similar
  • microwave
  • a plastic spoon
  • an accurate scale that weighs in ounces
  • the recipe and ingredients - see below

DIY Handmade Lemon Basil Solid Lotion Bar Recipe

  • 1 oz. beeswax
  • 1 oz. shea butter
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 15 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 15 drops basil essential oil

Weigh out the beeswax and shea butter then melt at reduced power in your microwave or on the stove in a double boiler if a microwave is not available to you. Next, weigh out the olive oil and stir into the beeswax and shea butter mixture. Now add 15 drops each of lemongrass and basil essential oil and stir.

Pour the liquid mixture into your mold and set aside to cool. You can speed up this process by placing the filled mold in the refrigerator or freezer.

Once the lotion bar has solidified completely, simply remove from the mold. I popped my mold in the freezer for a minute and because my awesome ice cream mold is wax lined, my solid lotion bar slid right out!

Now all that's left is to package to your liking! I packaged my lotion in a 4 oz. double walled plastic jar. To use, simply rub onto skin and massage in. Psst. You can also use this on lips! If you're making these as gifts and want to make more than one at a time, simply increase the recipe by multiples of two to the desired amount.

Prefer to craft an herbal vapor rub salve for chest congestion and coughs? Simply substitute the lemongrass and basil essential oils for 30 drops of eucalyptus oil and 15 drops of white camphor essential oil. Rub onto chest as needed to help relieve symptoms.

Looking for ingredients? I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for certified organic butters and essential oils. Looking for a simple, hassle free way to dress up your packaging to gift your handmade solid lotion bars? Try a strip of Japanese Washi tape! I used the Label Gift Washi Tape from Cute Tape for this project. If you like this project, be sure to also check out my recipe for a rich, handmade shea body butter!

What scents do you love year round regardless of the season?

Photos by Rebecca D. Dillon.

Rebecca D. Dillon claims a fine arts degree from Roanoke College and has enjoyed being creative since she was a small child. She resides in the Historic Arts District of her hometown where she lives with her miniature dachshund, Jasper, and works for a small business full time. Part time Rebecca handcrafts and sells homemade soaps, lotions and lip balms for her home business, Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen. In her spare time she squeezes in time for dancing, live music and the occasional karaoke. She is also the author behind Soap Deli News blog where she shares her DIY projects, bath and beauty recipes, handmade finds and other things that suit her fancy. Connect with Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Lemon....
    This sounds great. Now if I can just find reasonably priced shea butter and beeswax here in Iceland.

    1. Harpa, I am sure you will NOT find reasonably prices shea butter in Iceland. But you can order from the states :)

  2. Rebecca has so many great DIYs!!! This one is great, because I love solid lotion bars. At first I thought I wouldn't like them, but I LOVE them!
    Lemon is a great scent, so cheery. One of my ultimate faves is coconut, and also toasted rice flower (very uncommon, though, so it might be perfect for this DIY). I already pinned it!

  3. So interesting! TY both author and host for sharing, gonna pin and make.
    Probably with geranium and lemon essencial oils for a flowery but fresh smell.

    1. You are welcome! I love the smell of geranium. Do let us know how yours turns out!