Here's what I did...
First I started collecting lip balm cases and cleaning them out. Once I had actually made a batch - I realised how easy it was and decided to buy brand new tubes from e-bay and make them for Christmas presents. This post shows how I made these batches.
I found these clear tubes for around $12 for 50 clear tubes. Depending how fancy you want to get, there are tubes of all colours and sizes as well as pots in metal and plastic. There a hole world of lip balm bits on ebay!
First melt about two tablespoons of coconut oil in a jar in a water bath. I use a jar as I have found that bees wax is impossible to get out of almost any container easily. I use a small jar and then if I cant get the wax out, I can ditch the jar and its not a problem.
I use a takeaway chopstick to stir my creations as again - its hard to clean utensils. I can reuse this stick until it breaks without ruining any cutlery.
While the wax and oil are melting together, decide on your lip balm flavour. There's lots of ideas out there. I have discovered that whilst real vanilla essence works well, any flavour and colouring needs to be oil based or it wont mix in. It separates when it cools down even though it looks mixed in when its heated..
Some Flavour ideas:
- Chocolate (Cocoa)
- Chocolate mint
- Lemon (Citric acid, vitamin c tablet, lemon myrtle leaves steeped in the wax and oil mix)
- Chai (Cinnamon, ground cloves, powdered ginger, chai tea bag steeped in the hot wax and oil mix)
- Vanilla (Vanilla Essence)
- Coconut (the coconut oil will smell great without anything in it)
- Manuka honey
- Edible glitter
- Coffee (coffee grounds)
- Spice (ground spices)
- Cranberry (Dried cranberries macerated in the hot mixture for 20 minutes)
Once you have mixed your flavouring and colourings into the jar you are ready to fill your tubes (or pots) I found the easiest way was to fill a syringe with the molten liquid and then use that to pipe into the tubes. Its the cleanest, no spill method that I have found to fill the tubes. I got mine from a vet to give the dog some medicine years ago.
The wax will quickly set in the tubes and leave little dimples as it contracts. For appearances sake and to get a little extra into the tubes I save a syringe full after I have filled them and then top them up after they have set and the tops will then be flat instead of having the dimple in the middle.
To melt the wax that hardens in the syringe I pop it back into the hot water bath for a moment and then shake off the water, fill the syringe and fill or top up the tubes.
Next I will label them and use them as Christmas presents and Christmas Cracker gifts. As I made them I kept track of the ingredients so I could put them on the label.
There are a few label templates out there to save you from working out the dimensions from scratch!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for a handmade gift that is custom made to your needs and really cheap to boot!
Time cost: If you make a single batch, maybe 30 minutes from go to whoa. If you muck around making lots of colours and flavours, you could be there all day!
Skill level: Very, very easy. Just don't spill too much wax as you will be very good at cleaning up if you do!