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We’re all on a budget. There are things that we’ve all gone without to help make ends meet. Especially around the holidays! I discovered a way to pamper myself using ingredients from my kitchen and knocked out a few Christmas presents with this holiday sugar scrub! This is a simple concoction that anyone can do!

What You’ll Need:


1 Jar (that can hold at least 2 cups)
1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ – ½ cup Olive Oil (this is approximate, you may need more or less)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla or Almond Extract (for “flavor”)


1. Mix white and brown sugar in a bowl until blended.
2. Pack sugar into the jar.
3. Slowly pour olive oil in a tablespoon at a time until it has reached about halfway down the jar, letting each tablespoon seep in before putting in the next.
4. Once the olive oil has reached halfway down the jar, add vanilla or almond extract.
5. Pour mixture into a large bowl and mix it up until all the sugar is moist. Add more olive oil if needed.
6. Repack jar.

You’re done! See how easy that was?

A few helpful tips:

  • You can adjust the amount of sugar (both white & brown) and other ingredients to the size of your jar and your preferences. The mentioned amounts are a guideline. Just make sure you have even parts of white & brown sugar!
  • If keeping this in the bathtub or shower, have something with which to scoop the sugar out. If you use your hands, it’s a good idea to keep the scrub in the refrigerator to keep bacteria at bay, unless you go through the whole jar in a couple of days! I wouldn’t know anything about that!
  • You can substitute other oils in place of olive oil. Almond oil is another great option, just not as readily available as olive oil. Avoid mineral oil as it prevents your skin from absorbing moisture.
  • Try different extracts or even essential oils. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using essential oils!
  • Don’t forget to make a label! You can make a label on your computer using the sticky label sheets or use some fancy font on regular paper. Glue the paper to an index card (to make it rigid), cut it to resemble a gift tag, punch a hole in the top with a hole punch and use a rubber band or ribbon to tie around the mouth of the jar!

Now you’ve got a great scrub for yourself AND an easy, thoughtful gift! Your skin, your mom’s skin, your friends’ skin…EVERYONE’S skin will thank you!

This has been a guest post by Daphne from Colorado Springs, CO
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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25 thoughts on “Simple DIY Gift: How to Make the Perfect Holiday Sugar Scrub”

  1. Tabby says:

    I am confused on how it’s suppose to look?!? I am trying to make it for my family for Christmas and need help as soon as possible!!

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing! This is great, I just made some using coconut oil instead. It smells delicious.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love this idea. Made some today and used it in the shower tonight. I used to pay $25 for my favorite sugar scrub and got a container half this size. Vanilla is my favorite scent so this was perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I made a tiny batch of this (using approx 1 C. jar). It was incredibly fast and made my hands super soft. We’re doing a homemade Christmas this year and Sugar Body Scrub just made the list!! I love it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a great idea. I love being frugal, and homemade gifts to me are an especially nice touch. But I beg everyone, PLEASE BE CAREFUL and aware of whom these gifts will be in contact with if using the almond extract. My son and so many others are deathly allergic to nuts. One slight touch of this stuff or even of anyone who has touched it, could literally KILL my son. I’d advise against using this one as a teacher gift, too!

  6. Chelsea says:

    Where can I get some glass jars?? I don’t really want to buy any off ebay and I don’t want to spend alot.. any ideas? Thanks!

  7. Becky Jones says:

    These are awesome – I am in the midst of making 20 jars of them for gifts this year! So easy and not at all expensive. I am making peppermint candy cane sugar scrubs for my gifts and they are the perfect Christmasy gift. Just google “sugar scrub recipes” and you will find dozens of variations that you can make, plus lots of adorable labeling ideas.

  8. thanks Daphne for sharing! i love homemade projects! i was wondering though, if u dont use it in the shower, can you keep it out longer? (like on the sink, etc) and whats the shelf life if you do keep it (lidded) on the counter? thanks again!

    • gloria says:

      I know olive oil has a one year expiration date for consumption (it goes rancid, like fruit juice). Not sure if it would be an issue for external use or not.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why do you have to pack the jar before you add the oil and extract? Then RE-pack it at the end? Why can’t you just mix it all first and THEN pack the jar? Confused.

  10. Jackie Davis says:

    thanks Daphne! I’m going to try this!

  11. Angie Teagle says:

    Wow, I have all of that in my pantry! Great gift idea, thanks!!

  12. Sarah Gramps says:

    How many does one batch make?

  13. I use this year round! To add some more scent, add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. This is good for your skin and smells great!

  14. Jadda says:

    This is a great idea- thank you for sharing!! Although, forget gifts, I want to make this for myself!!! LOL

  15. Chelsea says:

    This is kind of unrelated but didn’t know where else to put it… Can you use coupons at Ulta??

  16. Can you use like half vegetable and olive oil?

  17. This is a fantastic gift idea! Definitely will be making gifts with this how-to, thanks for sharing!

  18. Amanda Smith says:

    Thanks we are doing a $15 limit home made gift exchange this year. this will be perfect since I already have most of it!