vanilla peppermint foot balm homemade gluten-free

DIY Foot Balm

You may notice that some of the ingredients in this foot balm, such as coconut oil and olive oil are food. I was taught during my Ayurvedic training, that the skin is the largest organ of absorption in the human body. Therefore, I make sure that anything I put on my skin is healthy enough for me to eat.

I found the base for this recipe in the February issue of Living Without magazine –their recipe was for a body butter. I changed it quite a bit, adapting various ingredients and adding essential oils. My boys and I enjoy rubbing this on each others feet at bedtime. It also makes a wonderfully thoughtful Christmas gift. Customize with your own “flavors” and enjoy!

DIY Foot Balm
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over very low heat, stir until melted
  2. Remove from heat and stir to combine, then add essential oils
  3. Pour mixture into a clean 4 ounce mason jar
  4. Massage a small amount into your feet at bedtime to moisturize
  5. Or give as a gift to friends and family

Today I’m giving away an Elana’s Pantry recycled cotton tote bag from Eco Bags along with the Foot Balm featured and photographed above. To win, leave a comment discussing your favorite homemade Christmas gift. This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere. The contest will end at midnight on December 15th, 2010.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now over. The winner of the Eco Bag giveaway was Ada. Thanks to everyone who participated!


  1. Cat says

    This sounds wonderful BTW, I am going to try it during my down time over the holidays.
    My favorite DIY gift is pickles! I Love sharing how easy it is to ferment your own.
    Love to all.

  2. Marc says

    My favorite gift is our presence with each other ….so very important. Gifts are so very unimportant and secondary to being together. Now, must say, if we do do any wee thing any time of the year DIY is the nicest from the heart!!!

  3. Mia Schleifer says

    My favorite homemade edible holiday gift this year is purple saurkraut! green cabbage, purple cabbage, unprocessed salt (sea, himalaya, etc., personally, I use one a friend got me from Cuba.)
    The fermented raw cabbage is a great probiotic to aid in digestion, plus it tastes great, is crunchy, inexpensive and looks pretty in a jar with a ribbon.

  4. Jenny says

    My favorite homemade gift were tamales made from my mom who passed away 5yrs ago this Christmas day. I miss her immeasurably. No one has come close in ma tching her tamales.

    • Sara says

      I just got done making 10 batches of this balm to give to friends. I used a kitchen scale (ask for one for Christmas!) to measure 1/2 an once of grated beeswax and then checked how much this is for you. It’s actually about 1/2 cup loosely packed. The beeswax becomes fairly light and airy when you grate it. Hope this helps!

  5. Renae Lynn says

    Elana, what kind of Ayurvedic training did you do and where? I’m interested, but don’t know where to look. Thanks!

  6. Tammy Wittig says

    My favorite handmade Christmas gift is usually some kind of food. Some of those foods I don’t eat anymore, though, so I love getting some new ideas from your site. Thanks!

  7. Deborah H. says

    Can’t wait to make your foot balm~ I even have some beeswax in the house! I loved and miss receiving the hand sewn and knitted gifts my grandmothers made especially for me.

  8. Moira says

    Whoops, I missed the discussion part. I used to love giving homemade braided bread.
    Most of all though, I like giving handmade things – cross-stitched, bead-clayed, whatever materials used, it is a blessing to make and to give.


  9. Saundra says

    I just read through the comments and found the answer! (wink)
    I try to come up with something different every year to make and give. I made granola yesterday for gift giving and put it in a quart size mason jar, tied with a fabric bow. I have so many favorites I have received. I love the photos and scrapbooks that my daughters have made and given to me.

    Can’t wait to try this foot balm!!

  10. says

    This foot balm looks great! My favorite homemade holiday gift to give is envelopes made from old wall calendars. I use the templates from the book called The Envelope Mill and I line the insides (to cover the calendar that’s on the reverse of the photo) with colored paper. They’re so pretty and I choose images that match the recipient’s interests.

    Over the years I tried making MANY different gifts – candles, ornaments, Christmas tree skirts, wine glass charms, FIMO clay boxes, knitting, and more… I’ve probably given away or thrown away more craft supplies than most people ever buy in their life. The envelopes are something I’m actually good at. Yay!

    This foot balm looks like it might even be easier to make than envelopes. And less time-consuming. Double yay!! Thanks for posting it!

  11. Ann Ashton says

    My favorite Christtmas gift to make for giving is: hand knit socks. What a great gift to give w/Elana’s homemade foot balm.

  12. Victoria says

    My favorite homemade gift is bath salts. Ingredients are epsom salt, baking soda and essential oils of lavender and geranium. Smells heavenly and looks very pretty in a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon!!!

  13. Megan says

    favorite homemade gift was a collection of old childhood pictures that my brother put together and assembled! he presented it to me on christmas years ago. i look at it everyday and the memories it summons up are so dear!

  14. Jennifer H. says

    Favorite homemade Christmas gift — Grandma’s cookies! I can’t eat them now because of my gluten-sugar-yeast-starch free diet, but I still enjoy the memories…and mom’s homemade Chex mix. Yum!

  15. Abrahamildi says

    Last year I made marcipan bonbons for my family (and close friends) and gave them in a box that I decorated with decoupage (each box was personalized and unique). They just loved that :) Back then I didn’t eat nor cook gluten-free, but this year they’re going to have something sweet and healthy as well :)

  16. judy holman says

    Has anyone got a good shortbread recipe that is gluten free and corn free? I not only ciliac but alergic to corn. I MISS MY CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD!!!!

  17. judy holman says

    My favorite christmas gift was a sweater my grandmother made. She made it in my favorite colour blue. It was the last sweater she made.

  18. says

    Can’t wait to luxurate with this foot balm! Appreciate your work towards helping us all stay healthy. Also appreciate your attitude about Christmas. Wouldn’t it be great for all of us to celebrate all holidays?

  19. says

    I’m finished with the cookie mix jar and I am trying this one out as a frugal gift to myself. When I was in high school I made a tulip patterned cross stitch and my mom had it framed as a gift to my favorite aunt.

  20. Ada says

    I love Elana’s great DIY gift ideas. This body butter “recipe” and some chocolate bark will be great gifts for my friends.
    My favorite homemade gift was a hot/cold pack that my niece made many years ago, consisting of a flannel casing filled with rice hulls. I keep it in my kitchen for either chiling in the freezer, or heating in the micro for muscle/body relief. And I think of her everytime we use it.

  21. Ronnie says

    What a great idea for Christmas. We all get the food packages which are used immediately. Getting something that will last through the long winters we have here will be much more appreciated. Can wait to make some up for my special friends.

  22. Tanja says

    My favorite Christmas gift I received last year was the home made almond butter from my friend Charles. He glued a whole almond, still in it’s shell, to the lid and hand wrote the label to make it pretty. I savoured that tasty butter on crackers many many Saturday mornings!

    • Doreen Goodhue says

      Hello Elana,

      I am sorry, I just commented on your foot balm but forgot to leave my comment on my favorite homemade gift. My sister sews and has given me wonderful quilts and blouses. :o)

  23. Stacy says

    My favorite homemade gift that I ever was given was a collage of my daughter in an 8×10 frame. It was so thoughtful and took so much time to make, but will be enjoyed forever!

  24. Kim says

    My favorite homemade gift was given to me a couple years ago. My mom surprised my siblings and I each with a personalized picture scrapbook of our childhood memories. And being that we are now grown with children of our own the last page was covered in baby pictures of our own little ones. Priceless!

  25. Rebecca says

    My favorite homemade gifts are the ones from my kids. Every year, they give me a list of what materials they need and they work in secret in their room. I always love them! Definitely my favorite gifts ever!!

  26. Tricia Ullrich says

    Fav. homemade Christmas gift is probably food. We love food, and giving away something we’ve made brings great joy and satisfaction.

  27. Jeri Cole says

    While I’m not super crafty I do love to bake this time of year. This is my first gf Christmas so I look forward to a new way of baking my favorite recipes and sharing with friends.

  28. says

    When I was in elementary school we were asked to bring in holiday cards to make geometric shaped ornaments. With a simple soup can for a tracing object, we made circles depicting the colorful pictures on the cards which we cut out, then folded into triangle shapes and pasted them together with glue topping it off with some glitter. I still have the ornament which I hang every year. When I look at it and remember the people who gave me the beautiful cards and the fun time I had making it! The ornaments are fun to make and are a great way to reuse holiday cards.

  29. Jenn Strilchuk says

    My favorite homemade Christmas present to make are ornaments. Every year the kids and I spend Winter Solstice making unique ornaments for our loved and cherished friends and family.

  30. Mary says

    I love making my Christmas gifts. I’m usually not so inventive and end up with cookies. I have made other things in the past though – body scrubs, marshmallows, homemade bread, fudge, and chocolate covered pretzels and oreos (before my gf days.)

  31. Anna says

    I knit stuff, it’s my favorite gift to give. A few years ago, my boys and I made homemade beeswax peppermint lip balm and everyone loved that too.

  32. Angela Eck says

    This looks like a wonderful treat for my feet! I’ll have to try making some. I usually enjoy edible homemade gifts, such as homemade fudge. But this year, I made homemade soy candles for all of my family and friends; I used tea cups I found at Goodwill to pour the candles into. They are very cute, and they smell nice, too.

  33. Kenna says

    I just finished pouring the mixture into the glass jar. Elana…I know I shouldn’t eat it…but it smells delicious!! Thanks!

    • Kenna says

      This foot balm is amazing! Once it cooled, I slathered it on my hands and feet…then everywhere else..why not!? :) Since it has been so dry, the skin between my fingers was cracked and bleeding…I had used this balm for a couple of days and the skin is healed and happy again! Another amazing recipe! Thanks Elana!

  34. says

    Every year i plan on giving homemade gifts, and every year Christmas sneaks up on me and I run out of time! The few years I’ve had time I love to make ornaments, in particular for babys first Christmas :)

  35. Irene says

    What a perfect gift to make for the holidays. My favorite to receive have been the scarves my daughter has been crocheting the last couple of years.

  36. says

    I love to bake up lots of different goodies and hand them out- some to friends, some to complete strangers. It’s fun to watch the disbelief turn to joy that someone would be willing to part with home-baked goodies.
    I do conventional, gluten-free, vegan, raw, and a mixture of all.
    Around November 15th I begin getting inquiries and requests from all manner of friends and acquaintances wanting to be sure of securing their favorites.
    I’m not sure who benefits more, as it may be the most fun I have all year.

  37. says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift would be to buy wool sweaters at garage sales or thrift stores, wash them in hot water and then recycle them into, headbands, hats, scarves, brooches, etc. The possibilities are endless!!

  38. Diane Geist says

    This is the perfect time of year for foot balm!

    Favorite homemade gift idea: One year I was recovering from chemo and didn’t have much energy available for Christmas presents. So….I made potholders! Since my kids are teenagers, I used their old loom and crochet hook and I went to a box craft store for the loops. These were easy (there are places where patience is required!)to crank out in front of the TV, where I usually was, and I made two for each friend/family. My friends were so happy and touched – “I need these! They are just like the kind my kids made, but those are all burned…” It’s like, you have to have at least one of those in the house!

  39. Christine says

    I think my favorite gift which wasn’t completely homemade would have to be the year that I found my great-grandfather’s old-fashioned razor that he used to use everyday and restored it. I painstakingly polished it using lemon juice and baking soda; cleaning the crevices with a tooth brush. It turned out shiny and beautiful. I gave it to my husband and now whenever he uses it I just smile because it’s a little bit of my great-grandfather living on and I know my husband truly appreciates it.
    –For my favorite completely homemade holiday gift, I would have to say I love the calendars we make and give out the family.

  40. Brandy Keysor says

    I really look forward to making this foot balm. I have become chemically sensitive from my job and I love things that I can pamper my skin with that I KNOW what is in them! Thanks so much. My favorite Homemade Christmas give away, is usually ganache truffles and peanut butter cups. People just go crazy over the wonderfully easy homemade candies. I love to make gifts at the Holidays. It makes it a little less commercial and a little more me. Thanks.

  41. lynn says

    My son has always made his gifts for family/teachers until this year – but now it’s not too late!! Thanks for this. Everyone’s favorite was the apron he painted for each woman in his life (real grandmas, adopted grandmas, teachers, etc.). He was 4 and each one was individual to the receiver.

    Thanks for all your great info.

  42. Vicki says

    My favorite home made gift is a family cookbook – it has been updated a couple of times since I first “published” it, but I have trouble getting family members to give me their new recipes – I’m just going to have to get a bit more demanding with them – they all love their cookbooks, but it is a bit of trouble to dig out their recipes and copy them for me. What we have is already about 200 pages or so, but we all have so many good, recent recipes, we need to share them with one another.

  43. Atour says

    Last Christmas I made coasters and they were really cute. I don’t like to give food gifts because I am particular about food and only bake gluten free stuff now. I really want to try making this but don’t have vanilla EO at the moment!

  44. says

    lovely! i already have all the ingredients and was just noticing we need some moisturizer (and i’m lotion-a-phobic)- and love the vanilla peppermint combo, i’ve been using peppermint/jojoba oil in my hair and love the fresh holiday scent it gives!

    brilliant change up from food, which i love, to moisturizer, which i like to make from my food anyway.


  45. Gwen says

    One year I made everyone in my family gift tags with childhood photos of themselves. Some were even with Santa. They are later turned into bookmarks.

  46. Martha Elliott says

    I have always enjoyed both making and receiving “homemade” gifts of baked goods, indoor herb gardens, preparing pine cones or suet cakes for feeding birds, and most recently by making Nantucket baskets. Your recipes give me a great opportunity to fill my handmade baskets with goodies to be enjoyed now in a container that will be enjoyed later.

  47. says

    This looks great! I think I’ll make it for two of my cousins. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I could get for them and here it is. Thank you for this recipe!

    My favorite homemade gift is My mom makes chocolates every year and after we help her we get to have some of them. I don’t care if they’re the ones that don’t look as great, because they’re still great!

  48. Maria L says

    I make popcorn in my Whirly pop – (sweet & salty)…. wrap in a plastic bag & tie with ribbon for my neighbors & co-workers.
    Easy on the wallet, but still homemade & so delicious.

  49. robin says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift was from my sister in law….she made us yummy cinnamon-candied almonds and candied orange peel in unique Mason jars. It was so simple, but so delicious and thoughtful!

  50. Sandra Eason says

    One of my favorite Christmas gifts to receive is a homemade cranberry and orange bread. I also enjoy making and giving homemade sweet breads as gifts or putting the dry ingredients layered in a pretty jar and sent with the instructions.

    This balm sound fantabulous and I know my feet would drink it up and say thank you! I just love the idea. Thanks so much.

  51. says

    Well, I would have to say that THIS is my favorite homemade Christmas gift recipe. Sounds divine! I have some very bad cracks already on my hand this year and I can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  52. Lenee says

    Homemade cocoa has been a great gift, in a nice festive mug with a coordinating ribbon! Would love to win the giveaway!

  53. says

    My FAVORITE homemade Christmas gift…?? My own homemade natural soap! I love, love, love making soap. One recipient exclaimed that it felt like she had put lotion on after using this soap! It’s very gentle to you skin and nicely moisturizing.
    ~Mrs. R

  54. says

    This year I’m doing a lot of knitting. I made my daughter a cotton lace sweater and some cute, stackable stuffed cats. For my dh I knitted a great scarf inspired by the gears in a clock with a matching hat. I’m also sewing a few items for my family. We’re trying for a mostly handmade holiday!

  55. says

    I like to give edible gifts.

    I started using a cocoa butter, almond oil and beeswax bar for my hands early last spring and they handles the weather so much better. I can’t wait to get my hands on shea butter and try this on my feet.

  56. Joan says

    My favorite homemade gift is a photo album with pics taken with family throughout the year. The homemade foot balm looks great and I will have to give this next year. Thanks, Joan

  57. says

    When we were kids, my sisters and I used to make Christmas gifts for each other. One of my favourite gifts was made from copper wire. I had cut long strips of copper wire, used a small pair of pliers and fashioned a “brooch” which spelt my sisters’ names. And then I made little jewelry boxes from empty matchboxes by covering the “sleeve” of the boxes with felt. I miss those days :)

  58. says

    My favorite homemade gift to give is either a scarf, stocking hat or something baked like cookies or brownies. I really look forward to making your homemade foot balm!! Such a great idea!! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love this as a gift. :)

  59. Rose says

    I’ve just finished seven weights to place on fabric when cutting a pattern. I used to use knives. These are prettier and work better. A very cheap gift: put smooth pebbles onto an 8″ square and tie tightly with string. Cover the string with colorful ribbon.

  60. Kari says

    We had fun making homemade coasters. The kids and I stamped designs on brown ceramic tiles and sprayed them with a sealer. Wrap with the pretty ribbon and it’s ready to go. The kids really enjoyed it. Great to give with tea and mugs as well. Thanks for the giveaway!

  61. Kelly says

    Christmas pickles! While we haven’t made them for several years, we grew up making sweet pickles to give to all my teachers and neighbors as holiday gifts! YUM!

  62. Sue says

    Dear Elena,

    I don’t know, if the give-away is open to international readers, but nonetheless, I love to give away homemade organic/vegan lip and body butter. As some of my friends either are still sceptic about organic cosmetics or just don’t want to spend more money on it, I love to pamper them a bit with such treatments and they are already looking forward to it :)

    Thank you for your great recipes and lovely stories!

    Have a great weekend


  63. says

    That foot balm looks delicious! I mean, awesome… and good enough to eat!
    I have two favorite homemade christmas gifts. One year I made a bath scrub for everyone on my list! That was such a pleasure, so sweet smelling, and lovely to use. My skin never felt better!
    The other was a project my sister and I took to make prayer flags with our own little twist. We spent hours researching beautiful sayings and pictures to share with the world, dyed the fabric, and made gorgeous little banners of thanks to share!
    Thanks for posting this – it is great reading about others gift ideas (more for next year!)

  64. Regina says

    My whole life I have made many of my Christmas gifts. From candles to sweatshirts, pillows,cookies,candies and jellies and jams. In the past few years I have been making soaps from scratch. I love it. Its more satisfying than baking a cake. The wonder of these ingredients slowly changing into a thick traceable consistancy of a pudding, is enormously satisfying.Then very quickly into soap.The natural smell of cocoa butter and oils I just love. This year I’m doing bath bombs in assorted animal face shapes,and lotion bars.So thanks for the recipe I’ll try it.

  65. beth halper says

    This looks great – I’m inspired to try yours. I made lotion bars for my daughters school faire last weekend the ingredients were very similar. i’d only ever made 10. They sold out so fast as my optimistic husband said they would. In fact i took orders for 60 more!

  66. MaryBeth Matthews says

    Thank you for this recipe. I’ve been researching the benefits of using coconut oil topically as my husband’s feet have many problems due to his chronic arthritic condition. I will definitely try this formula.

  67. aziza says

    This foot balm sounds great especially in this freezing weather.
    the best gift to give is home made cookies!

    Thank you again!

  68. Trisha says

    Homemade gifts are the best to give and receive.I make up baskets of cookies,fudge and knitted mittens or dishcloths. Love this foot balm idea and can’t wait to try it.

  69. donna nielsen says

    hmmm….honestly no one has ever made me anything for a holiday present except my other half wrote me a poem a few years ago about our cats ( one of whom we have just lost two nights ago and are grieving) i guess that is my favorite ‘homemade’ gift that i have received…i have made many things for others- as i am a designer and artist and really enjoy doing that- this year i made a really cute covered ‘frog’ box for my aunt who collects froggy things….to date it is one of the favorite things i have made for someone else…
    i would love to try making this balm and i will soon ;-)

  70. says

    What a great idea! This recipe coincidentally ties in with one of the most popular homemade Christmas gifts I have made. It was a “Pamper Your Feet” foot spa kit. I packaged all the fun foot relief items and towel in a small foot soak basin. It didn’t cost much to make since a lot of the ‘ingredients’ could be found at a dollar store or inexpensively.

    This DIY Foot balm of yours would be a perfect addition to such a kit.

  71. Kristin says

    I have just recently been thinking about how the skin is the largest organ and wondering about what I put on it. Very interesting that you posted about this. I have been wondering primarily because I have been having tummy issues and someone said to drink aloe vera juice, but I am just weirded out by drinking something you put on your skin. I guess it might be safe, but I haven’t yet.

    Homemade Christmas gift? I would have to say anything edible. Some of my co-workers make some of the best baked goods!

  72. Valerie says

    Favorite handmade gift- Handknit socks! I adore knitting so am knitting holiday gifts like a fiend right now, and socks are one of my favorite handknits to give. A little jar of this foot balm would be a perfect accompanying gift, thank you for the recipe!

  73. Tiffany says

    I love little decoupage boxes to give as gifts. They are so cute and useful and you can customize them to whoever you are making them for!

  74. Emily says

    I decided I need to enter this giveaway because there is someone close to me who desperately needs your blog/recipes (and ignores my well-meant urging to go GF) and if she carries around a fabulous Elana’s Pantry tote, I know she’ll go to your site. My fav homemade Christmas gift is probably picture albums/frames. I am a total photo gal and it means a lot to me to capture memories on film and artistically displaying them in albums or frames is that much more meaningful! It’s a very personal gift which is like.

  75. Valerie Trapp says

    I am making scarves this year for gifts! Lo-cal! ribbons and yarn- 8 strands of each- 6 feet long- knot every 6 inches, mix and match. Really fun and look so cool! Years past- I have made ornaments, and of course food- salsa, jelly, jam, breads, and cookies….

  76. says

    This year we made our family beet stained hand prints of my 2 year old son and framed them. He was born Christmas day of 2008, so I suppose he’s another version of a “homemade” Christmas gift ;)

  77. says

    I love, love, love DIY projects. And since we (Canada) are already experincing -11 degree celcius temperatures my poor feet need nourishment. Awesome post! Awesome blog!

  78. Karey Smisek-Bachman says

    I LOVE this idea. One year for my nephews’ birthdays, I made homemade playdough and it was such a huge hit. I love the idea of making something like this to give to my sisters and mom for special occasions. It seems like going the extra mile to make someone feel extra special but it really just comes from the heart and wanting to be healthy from the inside out! Great recipe and I can’t wait to make some!

  79. says

    My favorite gift to make is a little package of Italian Almond Cookies that are naturally gluten free. I make them with palm sugar, then wrap them in a decorative bag with ribbon and a sprig of rosemary.

    The cookies are called Brutti Ma Buoni, or “ugly but good” because they are drop cookies. But that means they are really easy to make. You can see the recipe here.

    I just substitute palm sugar for the granulated. I actually use about half the amount since I don’t like the sweetness to overpower the almonds, and they turn out beautifully. Well—ugly by somebody’s standards I suppose…


  80. Brenda Seader says

    I enjoy canning and jellymaking, and usually have much more than we really need. I love to give a few jars, dressed up in a pretty basket, or box; and they always seem to be appreciated and used.

  81. Judy Smith says

    I have made a variety of things from fruit baskets to cookies and candy to pin cushions made from small cans. I have even made Mr. & Mrs. Snowman made from soup cans. My maternal grandmother was quite the crafter and I believe that I get my inspirations from her.

  82. Stephanie says

    Any gift I receive I know comes from the heart. That’s why I especially appreciate homemade gifts — whatever they are. Your foot balm sounds so soothing that as I write this I can almost feel the comfort I’m reaping from the oils and the massage. How nice it would be to receive both giveaway items.

  83. Julie says

    I found a great recipe for a bay-rum aftershave that my 4 year old & I mixed up and have been shaking daily for a few weeks now… can’t wait to surprise her daddy & grandpa’s with such a yummy-smelling handmade treat! Making something together to give has been such fun – so, it’s my favorite gift so far, but I’m sure it will only get better with time!

  84. Colleen Buchanan says

    This looks simply amazing!! I work in the alternative health field and am adamant too about not putting anything on my skin that I can’t eat — I can’t wait to try this recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing all of you yummy recipes.


  85. Christa says

    I’m making all of my gifts this year. One basket for chefs with marmalade handmade aprons and a recipe book with our family favorites and one spa basket with homemade lip balms and other goodies. I love this recipe for foot balm!

  86. Betty says

    Oooh! How lovely! Count me in! My favorite handmade Christmas gift to receive used to be baked goods, but since going gluten free I have not received any of those I can eat. My favorite handmade Christmas gift to give include knitted items and this year one of my sons (12yrs old) is painting a whole family of wooden peg people for my 7 yr old daughter. They look great!

  87. says

    My favorite homemade gift used to be my grandma’s divinity. She would send us a box full of homemade treats, and everyone in the house would fight over the divinity.

  88. mallory m says

    i love giving the DIY brownies or banan bread kits similar to what you showed earlier this week with the cookies. i’ve already given out a few this year already and am working on making a bunch this weekend in preparations for the holidays ahead.

  89. Amy says

    Not very creative here… my favorites of past are photo gifts of the kids in frames, calendars,books etc…I’m being inspired now by all of these great ideas!!!! I will be attempting Elana’s gluten free candies, cookies and FOOT BALM this year!! This looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it myself!!!

  90. Brenda says

    My favorite things to give are baked goods (unusual or special ones) that
    most don’t have time to make during the holidays. The cream looks great.
    Will try it as I spend too much on the bought stuff.

  91. Joni Roberts says

    I sewed all three nieces red and white satin dresses for Christmas. This year I am making their dolls outfits, and making the oldest a burgandy cape, just like little red riding hood.

  92. Tammy Lou McIlwain says

    I am going to get the ingredients to make this foot balm this weekend!! I have lyme disease and my feet ache all the time so I always rub them with some lotion before bed. I have tried soo many lotions on my feet which are not natural besides the fact the scent is way too strong. I’ll even make some up for gifts. Thanks for another wonderful recipe my feet thank you too!

  93. PeonyJen says

    Gosh, I don’t make any sort of gifts by hand. However, I’m printing this recipe and am going to attempt it for teacher gifts in the next week. Now, off to find shea butter…

  94. Sandy Austin says

    My favorite giveaway holiday gift are homemade pretzels.They are a welcomed relief from all the sweets and go well with football games!
    Include your recipe for the pretzels and a jar of your favorite mustard for dipping. Future pretzel baking sessions are fun for the kids…especially the tie shaping of the dough prior to baking.
    I haven’t tried making them with almond flour…yet.

  95. says

    Wow, this sounds amazing! My feet hurt constantly so I would love to give this a try. I’m sure this would also be great for pregnant mama bellies, too!

    My favorite homemade gift? Actually, I’m giving away a little loaf of your bread along with some s’mores from your cookbook. A lot of my family has been interested in gluten-free so I thought I’d give them some goodies to try.

    *blushes because I know that sounds so fangirl*

  96. Laura says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift used to be cookies I’d make and give people. But,now that regular flour is out of the question, I’m not sure. I’d like to make almond flour cookies but don’t think I can swing the cost to use that much almond flour. I also used to sew gifts for people… perhaps I can go that route this year??

  97. says

    I think this would be a nice gift to give with some essential oils salt scrub- for the feet of course. This is giving me ideas……
    My favorite gift, I have to say is nothing self made from a recent Christmas past, but actually from when I was little. It was a kitchen set. It was made of wood with the exception of sink and was very plain. Not like the kitchen gadgets made of plastic now a days.
    That was the beginning of my love of being in the kitchen. I’m sure of it!

  98. Mel says

    What a great gift! I make almost every gift that goes out of this house so I have too many favorites. This year I am having fun sewing “retro” aprons. I also like making pillowcases, grocery bags, purses, wallets, and clothes.

  99. says

    My mom has made peanut butter fudge for everyone for decades, and my cynical, difficult-to-please cousins still look forward to it. I’ll have to watch her make it to see if it is gluten-free!

  100. Brenda says

    This looks heavenly! I haven’t been able to make any body products in a couple of years and really miss them! My favorite homemade Christmas gift to give is the scrapbook album pages for all the grandparents. My favorite one to recieve are the ones my kids or grandmother makes for me.

  101. says

    My favorite memories of making Christmas Gifts as a child were in my Nana’s kitchen. We’d make homemade hard candies and chocolate butterscotch rice krispies treats.

  102. Suzanne says

    I love homemade gifts of any kind. This year, for my family’s White Elephant, I’m bringing a scrapbook of last year’s festivities. Love the foot balm idea.

  103. Amanda Johnson says

    I love making a big bottle of homemade Vanilla. Its so fun to pour out into smaller (so cute) containers and give away with a nice bow!

  104. Margaret says

    Wow! Delightfully decadent! My favorite homemade gift to give and receive is a sewn rice bag to heat in the microwave- the perfect bed buddy! Just saw one the other day where the maker had used gently used socks, and just had to sew up the end. A great use for those singleton socks that happen after only one wearing!

  105. Elaina Harman says

    Thank you for the recipe, I had an accident and crushed the heel of my right foot, have had 4 surgeries and so the scar tissue is large and the side of my foot gets like the bottom of your foot and this will probably help very much as it is natural like you said.

  106. cecilia says

    I am looking forward to making this next week when my vacation starts. I love making DIY stuff and give as gifts. Last year I made my officemates quilted colorful lunch bags so they can put their snacks or lunch in them and bring to the office.

  107. says

    That’s lovely! I might have to make this for a few friends for Christmas. I love to sew, so most of my homemade gifts are sewn. Last year we made little rice packs that can be heated up to soothe little aches and pains.

  108. Tami Jo Eaton says

    I am so excited to try this. I have a jar of coconut oil in my medicine cabinet, but don’t regularly use it, because it seems so lumpy. This is a more creamy version–and the essential oils will be awesome. My favorite Christmas gifts are the homemade hand prints that my children do at school each year.

  109. Amanda Hutchins says

    My mom used to make loaves of fruitcake to give as gifts – until the year she realized the batch tasted terrible after she’d already passed most of them out:) I think after that we stuck with non-baked items as a safer bet to give to friends and family.

  110. KellyBelly says

    Last spring I took a soap making class and was hoping to have homemade soap to give as gifts, however I haven’t perfected the soap good enough for gifts yet. So this balm is much easier and just as lovely to give and receive. Thanks

  111. Leah says

    Elena – I would really like to know what other body care treatments you use… face, skin, etc.

    For homemade gifts, it all depends on the year. Last year I made mosaic votives for everyone, and the year before I made flip flops that had a little bling on them. Who knows what will happen this year :o)

  112. says

    coconut flour? really?
    i am sure it’s oil…just based on the picture.

    we like to sew for those we love, this year it’s blankets and pillowcases.

  113. Eselepee says

    Thank you so much for the DIY Foot Balm recipe!!

    I have some nice ‘home made’ gifts for those who are open to my dietary quirks (gf, soy-free, animal-free), but now I have something that those who consider me nuts (its all in my little high-maintenance head, right) can completely enjoy. Even though they might not understand, I still love them and want to have a personal gift for them. ‘Tis the season!

    Happy holidays!

  114. Jenny says

    I have been plain *suffering* with dry skin since moving to Colorado. I got a shower filter since our water is so hard, and that made a big difference. I’ve been blending my own jojoba, hemp, sunflower and grapeseed oils but for some reason, those oils made into a body butter work so much better. I can’t understand why the butter made from the oils would work better than the oils straight but it seems to. I’ve been thinking about getting shea and trying to make my own and maybe I will just do that. I’ve got to find some kind of relief save for moving back to the edge of the Pacific Ocean ; ) Thanks for a wonderful post on food for the skin!

  115. Fran says

    The foot balm sounds like a great idea for last minute gifts. I love to make jewelry. This year I made bracelets for my two daughters and me of garnets, crystals, and silver balls and findings – the same materials in different designs. They received them at Thanksgiving with a request to wear them on Christmas Day. Since we won’t be together that day, we’ll have the connection of the bracelets.


  116. says

    What a delicious indulgence. We should pamper ourselves daily with self care. Your foot balm seems like the perfect way to end the day and slip into a deep night’s sleep! Thanks for the lovely recipe Elana!

  117. Julie Wehr says

    Elena – the BEST christmas gifts are homemade – yes! I have found that everyone loves receiving homemade cookies and squares and jams at this time of year. Everyone makes different recipes and for us who are gluten intolerant, receiving cookies etc that we won’t react to is just fantastic!

  118. j says

    I love your Apple Cinnamon Cake now that I am on gluten free diet. I did add an extra apple for more moisture and flavor! I will be starting a new tradition this year as I will be sharing my new foods with my family. I will be making Apple Cinnamon Cake to have on hand when visitors come over. Yummy…

  119. Kathleen says

    Coconut flour or coconut oil?

    My favorite homemade gift to receive is the Plum Pudding a friend makes each xmas. Favorite to give: homemade truffles or liquors.

  120. debra says

    My favorite homemade gifts are knitted gifts – I made scarves last year! I also like to make holiday cookies – linzer cookies are my favorite.

  121. Tracy W says

    My favorite “homemade” Christmas gift this year has been putting together bound photo albums capturing what our family did over the last year for our extended family. We moved out of state a year ago. And Oma and Opa are missing their grandkids, so I’m sure these will be a huge hit.

  122. Mary Rezeski says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift is a hand-knit Christmas stocking my aunt made. She made one for everyone in our family. The stockings are just beautiful with the pattern including winter scenes and our names on each one. She made these for all of us many years ago and we bring them out each year and think of her. She passed away last year but having these stockings will bring wonderful holiday memories of her for years to come.

    The holiday season is about family and what better way to celebrate than to have a wonderful handmade gift that will be a part of our holiday tradition for years to come !

  123. Paula Jacunski says

    Thanks for sharing this non-food recipe…I am definitely going to make it. I will first have to search for coconut flour, though…didn’t even know such a thing existed.

  124. says

    My favorite homemade gift is the personalized calendars I make each year. Customized with family photos and birthdays included. As far as from the kitchen, I LOVE my hot cocoa mix for gifts. It is a favorite with many.

  125. says

    I LOVE stuff like this and my feet need help.

    I like to make a sugar scrub (not salt because there’s always a cut somewhere). Sometimes I make it all fancy with fresh lemon and other fresh ingredients, but when I’m in a hurry it’s a little Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap with added coconut oil and sugar–works great for my toddler.


  126. Melissa says

    Awesome recipe! This would make a great gift to put together and give to friends. Thanks so much for sharing. Always love your recipes and ideas, I look forward everyday to reading your posts and you have helped me more with my diet than you will ever know. Thank you!

  127. Erin says

    Hi Elana!

    I am new to your blog and enjoy it so thoroughly! My favorite homemade holiday gift is one that I actually made when I was 9. I so badly wanted to give gifts to my family that year so I diligently spend all of my time focused on this goal. I remember sitting at our office table with cardboard, fabric, cookie cutter shapes, ribbon, scissors and glue. I make ornament out of the cardboard in the shape of holiday cookie cutters. The time I spent making sure each ornament was creatively and uniquely decorated astounds me! I wish I still have that kind of time. My grandmother still gets out her ornament and hangs it on her wall. We celebrate Christmas so I made her a tree. It hangs next to the other homemade Christmas tree ornaments made by my father and brother. It is a very special wall. Thanks for the idea to write about this!

    It was fun for me to remember!

  128. JQBancroft says

    The favorite homemade gift I gave was a homemade pancake mix with gourmet real maple syrup. It was nice to mix-it up for the usual dessert type food given out (not that pancakes and syrup doesn’t have the nutritional profile of a dessert… :)

  129. Rebekah says

    Last year, my three-year-old daughter and I made cinnamon Christmas ornaments and gave them to family and friends. We also kept some, and they are a cute and great-smelling reminder of that special time with her. I love homemade gifts!

  130. lisa says

    Hi Elana! This is great-I was looking for a gf crafty item to make. Thanks! I love making photo collages for my favorite people. I use photoshop or just cut physical photos from our favorite memories. I add cute things from our “inside jokes” and then frame it. I did this one year for my best friend & she still has it up :). I also wanted to tell u that I love your cookbook!

  131. Gina says

    My favorite homemade gift to give is pan de higo, which is Spanish fig cake. It’s a gluten free, healthy take on the traditional fruit cake and it’s full of flavor.

    • Diane Dyg says

      This is an easy recipe. Thank you for that. I make soap to give for gifts. My daughter and family uses nothing but that. They love it. Abby I would like your recipe for goats milk soap if you share.?
      Elana you have the greatest ideas.

  132. Ila Jean says

    I love to receive anything homemade! I love to give scrapbook projects! Everyone loves to look at the books over & over again all year long! Then they can also be passed onto other family members! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  133. Pam says

    Funny you should say that you won’t put on your body anything you can’t eat. I’m just learning now to adopt that way of thinking. It just make sense! So I’m going to be copying your footbalm recipe and giving it as gifts. I already have my Mason jars! This is super exciting and I hope I can encourage others to adopt the same healthy view of what goes on their bodies. Thanks for this!

  134. Sarah says

    Hi Elana,

    I wanted to clarify whether essential oil is the same as extract…and I love to make ornaments for family, friends and coworkers! Also have in the past done baking, jewelry gifts, and given hand-knitted scarves and hats (we’ll see if I finish my two projects this year) – homemade things are the best to give and receive!

    Thanks for this great idea.

    • Susan says

      No, you can find essential oils at natural foods stores…make sure it says Essential Oil and not Fragrance oil…those are diluted with whoknowswhat and impure..and weird.

  135. Jennifer says

    I just spent a day making Indian-spiced picked carrots; a recipe I found in the new Amy Pennington cookbook. I couldn’t resist sampling a jar, and as luck would have it, one of the jars did not seal. They are delightful! Thank you so much for your post. Best, Jennifer

  136. Golden says

    We will be making window stars with kite paper this year. There are a couple of nutcrackers to paint as well as some more polymer clay peace cranes to make.

  137. Betsy says

    Wow, that looks amazing! My favorite homemade gift that I have received is a big box of chocolate covered potato chips. They were amazing. I like to make gfcf fudge and other treats for others.

  138. Jo Stanley says

    I have been making cookies for the extended family for a few years now. They all are coming to expect a big box of cookies. With being gluten free it is easy to me to make the cookies and give away. Thanks for all the neat receipes that you have created gluten free.

  139. Gwen Krehbiel says

    My favorite thing to make at Christmas time are hand print ornaments. The boys are 2 and 6. This year we made hand prints on Handprint Snowman Ornament.

    Paint child’s palm and fingers white. Carefully have them hold the blue ornament ball to create the five snowmen. Use a paint marker to make hats, faces, and scarves. There’s a you tube video too. Attach a tag with this poem:

    These aren’t just five snowmen
    As anyone can see.
    I made them with my hand
    Which is a part of me.
    Now each year when you trim the tree
    You’ll look back and recall
    Christmas of 2010
    When my hand was just this small!

    Merry Christmas,

  140. Marcia says

    My favorite decadent homemade gift is a Belgian chocolate fudge sauce for ice cream treats. Sometimes it’s good enough to eat on its own!

  141. Kim Brown says

    My favorite gifts are the edible kind. I go through my almond flour recipes and make cookies, biscotti, scones, etc. None of my friends can believe that they are eating something that is gluten free. All the gifts are delicious.

  142. Sharon Petrini says

    I make bird seed ornaments, in Christmassy shapes, with yarn for hanging. The birds can use the yarn to build their nests in the spring, so I recommend that it be left in the tree after the ornaments are eaten. I also enclose the recipe, so recipients can make more!
    (love your site!!! and your recipes have saved the day on many occasions. Thanks for just being there!)

  143. says

    Love the gift idea Elana! I was looking for an easy, homemade gift idea for this year as I’m in graduate school, working, and a mom of 4. Several years ago, I took photos of summer flowers at the National Botanical Museum in DC. I bought different colored card stock and envelopes and lined each envelope with handmade paper; printed the photos on matte paper and attached them to the card stock; and, I put a sticker on the back of each card with the year and my initials. They were a big hit – I often get asked when I’ll be making them again. Happy holidays! I hope your Chanukkah was wonderful.

  144. Mary Kay says

    This year I’m giving the Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts. They are so good. I’ve made them and brought them in to work and everyone loves them.

  145. Carolyn says

    It is hard to pick a favorite homemade gift. Each year I do something different. One year it was brownies in a jar, then soup in a jar. Now I am making hair towel wraps and jewelry bags for the ladies. I will now add the foot balm to the list.

  146. Ollie says

    I make a brownie topping for ice cream….gluten free of course!!! just my brownie recipe baked a bit longer & crumbled up…put in a pretty container…it’s luscious & almost healthy!!!

  147. says

    We have given home made gifts for a few years now:
    The first ones we made were celtic crosses & celtic stars.

    The following year it was a home made calendar featuring a different family shot each month, with birthdays and anniversaries marked in.

    Have also given love notes as gifts to my parents (ie: one hour of cleaning, moving furniture, setting up & taking down Christmas tree, shoveling the drive way, IT support …) for them to redeem throughout the year

    Your candied nuts packaged in mason jars were a big hit.

    This year we are probably going to give a selection of gluten free creations.

  148. Celina says

    Sounds like a wonderful idea, I think I’ll try it. Two years ago my mother was diagnosed with Breast cancer. Instead of buying everybody Christmas presents, I made them all personalized cards and inserted a receipt for a donation to the breast cancer society. It was an emotional day, but full of joy. Enjoy your day!

  149. says

    Wow, this is awesome! I would have never thought to make my own body lotions, but this looks so easy.

    My favorite thing to make for gifts is jewelry, but that may very well change after this recipe!

  150. says

    I don’t have a favorite homemade Christmas gift because I don’t observe Christmas, but I would love to have the tote bag and the foot balm.

    The only food gift that I have made for other people is pumpkin bread. I used to make it in coffee cans for nice, round slices, but coffee cans are not made now for baking. Wish I had saved some.

  151. says

    I can just feel this body butter seeping into my little tootsies! Thanks for the reminder that homemade gifts can just be the best. As for me, what would I make? Hmmmm, I like making gluten free homemade cookie or brownie mixes and layering them in a jar, tying them with a bow, attaching the recipe (handwritten as beautifully and neatly as possible on an index card). Voila!

  152. Felicia says

    What a wonderfully, easy foot rub! Sounds like heaven to my feet and a great gift to give! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and recognizing that the outside is just as important as the inside! Thanks again for another opportunity to win on your site!

  153. says

    wow…with the training you are giving your boys in foot massage, some future daughter-in-laws are going to practically worship you as a mother-in-law. ;)

  154. says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift I’ve received is a tin of cookies I looked forward to each year from my great Grandma Helen. Inside the tin were various cookies she lovingly made and sent from Chicago for my siblings and me to share. We weren’t allowed to have much sugar, so it was a big deal to us. The one cookie I remember isn’t really a cookie at all, but it was my favorite thing in the tin. My mouth waters even now just thinking about it! They were these green, gewy, chewy wreaths with cinnamon dot candy on them. Every cookie in the tin tasted like cinnamon because of those wreaths. Several years ago, before she passed, I sent a letter to my great Grandma Helen telling her how much that gift meant to me, and I asked her for the recipe. She sent a sweet note in reply along with a very weathered cut-out cardboard piece from the side of a Cornflakes box with the recipe on it. Imagine my surprise to discover this treat I eagerly anticipated as a child, and thought was easily gourmet as an adult, was simply a modified “Rice Krispys Treat” made out of Cornflakes with green food coloring! :-) But truly it was so much more than that. It was love sent from Chicago to Texas each year. I made that recipe last Christmas for my siblings and their children, along with other cookies in a tin. And we spent a great deal of time standing in the kitchen, as I made more wreaths, discussing the memories we each had of Grandma Helen. Since that time, my diet has been severely restricted for health reasons, but sharing this story here has inspired me to attempt to make a healthier version of that treat that I can eat and feel good about giving to others to eat ;-)

  155. Lisa Vance says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gifts are handcrafted Christmas decorations… I like them because each year, they remind the receiver of the gift.

  156. Stacey says

    Hi Elana
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I think you have a typo, however:
    perhaps you mean coconut oil, not coconut flour?

    best wishes


  157. April L. says

    Mmm…that balm looks like it would feel wonderful! Sounds like it smells good too. :) My favorite handmade gift is a fun little wine cork necklace my best friend made for me last year.

  158. Tonya says

    I can’t wait to try this. My favoirte Christmas gifts are homemade gifts…I’ll never have enough pot holders!

  159. Shilpa says

    This balm looks wonderful, Elena!! My favourite homemade gifts are: knitted scarfs and hats. I also love handmade soaps and any Summer goodness that has been preserved.

  160. says

    Hi Elana,

    FYI, Peppermint oil is quite irritating to the skin (as is lavender oil) so those with skin sensitivities may want to omit that ingredient or substitute orange or another less volatile oil.

    • VLM says

      I think it depends on the sensitivity of your feet. I have often used tea tree oil in homemade foot creams and find that it works really well (creating an environment where fungus cannot grow, etc).

    • Jodi says

      Lavander oil is not irritating to the skin. In fact, it is one of the mildest of the aromatherapy oils. You must be thinking of something else.

      And of the oils that are irritating, they are only so when used as is (applied directly to the skin) which is why we add them to oils and butters. This dilutes them, making them safe. In this recipe, peppermint wouldn’t be irritating unless you have an allergy. and it’s always a good idea to make sure you don’t apply aromatherapy oils to broken skin.

  161. Patty says

    My favorite handmade Christmas gifts to receive were the ones my children made me when they were young. My offspring are 20, 27 and 30 now, but when they were young, they made some christmas ornaments that every year I hang on the tree. They are my favorite ornaments, even the muddy colored cardboard sphere my son painted. When I hang them up, I can see their personalities in them. My son, for instance is in art school now, breaking all the rules.

    Thanks for your inspirational recipes. I used to make body cream with shea butter and jojoba oil and an essential oil. I loved the way it melted on the skin on contact.

  162. Thea says

    This looks like fun – do you have a suggested source to purchase beeswax and shea butter? I do not have a clue where to look for those items…

    Happy Holidays!

  163. Christine helms says

    Hi elana!!
    My favorite Christmas gift to give is cinnamon pecans!! We have trees in the front yard and we collect the pecans in November and make up Christmas batches of the cinnamon spiced pecans for gifts and treats!!

    On the skin care topic. What do you use for facial products?

  164. Danielle says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift is one someone else makes! :) That’s only because my kitchen is tiny and while I love to cook, the volume of homemade gifts makes it difficult in this house.

  165. Jennifer Stephenson says

    I love making spiced tea for friends at Christmas. My four boys also get very excited when I make a batch for them!

  166. allie says

    Hmmm…favorite handmade gift? I like to make gift baskets with an instant breakfast or dinner all prepared for the family.

  167. Elizabeth says

    This looks great! I’d love to win the giveaway but I’m also excited to try to make it on my own. Thank you!

  168. Lou Marchbank says

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I knew that if I waited long enough, some inspiration would come my way and my procrastination would pay off. Now I can get busy making Christmas gifts!

    PS I’m so glad I read the comments and saw the correction on the coconut flour :)

  169. Jeannette says

    This balm looks great. Favorite homemade christmas gift would have to be the knitted or crocheted kind–hats, scarves and sweaters!

    • Elizabeth says

      My favorite homemade gift is salt and sugar scrubs and bath salts. For the sugar scrub I combine granulated sugar, coconut oil, tangerine, orange and lemon essential oils. This makes a very tropical smelling scrub. For the salt scrub I combine sea salt, coconut oil, spearmint essential oil and dried spearmint. For the bath salts I combine dead sea salt, epsom salt and lavendar essential oil. I put them in nice containers with lids and make homemade labels for them. They are a big hit.

  170. elisa says

    My favorite…and neighbors is my easy and yummy homemade toffee! After I was diagnosed with celiac 6 years ago, cookies to a back seat initally and GF candies made my day! This was and still is a favorite! Happy HOlidays!

  171. Barb says

    My favorite homemade Christmas gift to give is Caramel Corn. People always say it is the best and look forward to receiving it. We have been giving it as a teacher gift for 14 years and still counting.

  172. Ali says

    Just to clarify, it is coconut oil that we use in this and not coconut flour as the recipe calls for? Great idea!! I’m also interested in knowing the consistency of the mixture. Have you ever used it as a lip balm?

    My favorite homemade gifts as usually of the edible kind… truffles, cookies, fudge, etc. One year my aunt made all the girls very fancy dresses, and I loved that dress too. Still have it. Maybe if I ever have a daughter it will fit her.

  173. says

    What’s the consistency of this when it cools? I’m sure the other oils keep it loose, but I know my coconut oil gets rock solid every night when my house cools, and it’s a pain to dig out oil in the morning for my elbows. I would love something that is consistently a nice paste.

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