Everyone knows that the best gift to give is one that you yourself would enjoy receiving. While you surely wouldn’t mind receiving a new car or European vacation, it’s hardly realistic to expect that you could give the same to your wedding guests. How do you choose a wedding favor that’s useful, heartfelt, will appeal to a wide range of people, and won’t break the bank? Homemade lip balm is one easy answer. With dry winter weather rolling in, it’s a gift everyone loves to receive.
If your guests have lips, they can probably use a nice stick of lip balm. Equally useful for guys and gals, this favor can be made in any flavor. Make a variety of flavors marked with different colored ribbons, and your guests will be able to choose their favorites. Don’t forget to make some plain sticks so the guests who just want plain, old-fashioned chapping protection can have their way, too.
As with any homemade gift, the effort you put into making it will translate into extra thoughtfulness and sincerity to your guests. While store-bought lip balms become throwaway trinkets, there’s something much more valuable about a hand-crafted lip balm made from specially-chosen ingredients.
It’s the kind of treat guests might splurge on if they saw extra-fancy artisan lip balm in their favorite spa, but you’re giving it to them for free (each stick should cost under 50 cents to make). The treat is even more thoughtful than a store-bought indulgence because it was made by your hand, specifically for your family and friends.
Gather Your Materials
You will need containers to hold your finished lip balm. They’re cheaper to buy in bulk (you can find good deals online), so buy more than you think you’ll need. After all, lip balm doesn’t go bad, so if you end up with a dozen extra sticks for yourself, you’ve just invested in a few years’ supply.
You can opt for the tube-shaped sticks with sliders that push the lip balm out, or, if you want to avoid throwaway plastic containers, you can use small glass jars that are just the right size for dipping fingertips.
For the lip balm itself, you’ll need beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. Using one tablespoon of each, you will fill about six small containers. Optional ingredients include cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, olive oil, and other aromatic oils (such as almond, peppermint, or apricot oil).
You can tint your lip balm with a few drops of food coloring if you like. While these ingredients are generally allergy-safe, you may want to check ahead of time whether any guests have specific sensitivities, so you can make a batch especially for them. The best part about using coconut oil and shea butter is that they’re both natural sunscreens (around SPF 4) so they’ll work double-duty on a dry, sunny day.
Don’t forget the custom label! You can purchase ready-made labels to fit the size of your containers, or you can print your own on appropriately-sized stickers at home.
Include your wedding date, your names, or any meaningful quotes or pictures that you’d like to use to remind guests of your celebration. Tie a ribbon around each container for added visual appeal.
Making the Lip Balm
This part is surprisingly easy. Simply combine the beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter in equal proportions in a stovetop double-boiler. (A smaller pot suspended inside of a larger pot, where the larger pot is half-full of boiling water, works well to keep the inner pot’s contents at just the right temperature.)
Whisk or mix your ingredients with a fork until everything has thoroughly melted together.
At this point, you can drop in small amounts of your other ingredients. Experiment with small batches until you find the consistency and texture you like best.
You can leave out everything but the three main ingredients (beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter) if you want an extremely basic lip balm. A few drops of essential oils will go a long way, so add these sparingly.
Make multiple batches for multiple flavors. Adding essential oils of mint, tea tree, or eucalyptus will add a pleasant tingle. Almond, cherry, citrus, and apricot are popular sweet flavors. Rose, jasmine, or lavender oils will create an aromatic floral scent.
You can also use chocolate, vanilla, and coconut extracts for a creamier taste. A good rule for choosing flavors is to use tastes you would enjoy in an Italian soda or over shaved ice.
Pour the hot liquid into your containers (a Pyrex glass with a spout will let you pour precisely) and let it sit and cool overnight. In the morning, you will see that it has condensed into opaque, creamy balms that are just begging to be applied to your lips.
Before you clean your pots or other cooking utensils, wipe the extra balm residue away with a paper towel while it’s still warm. This will keep it from clogging your sink and will make for a much easier clean-up.
Enjoy your home made lip balm
Your homemade lip balms will be such popular wedding favors that many guests will want more than one. Be sure to provide a surplus of every batch so everyone can still find their first choice of flavor.
Really good, high-quality lip balm is one of those items that people keep nearby, which is great news for you. Every time your guests apply some to their lips, they’ll think of you, your wedding, and all the fun they had.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.