Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

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Everyone likes smooth skin right? (Well, everyone except for my husband who gave me a confused look when told him what I was making. He just doesn’t understand.)

I saw several “recipes” for homemade sugar scrubs on Pinterest and given how easy it looked, I had to try. I also noticed that 95% of the sugar scrubs were photographed in a mason jar. I should have bought stock in mason jar manufacturers years ago.

First, a note.  People have a myriad of reasons for why they exfoliate and/or make their own scrubs. I’m not one who swears by organic anything (I need more science and appropriate regulation of terminology) nor do I believe in the detoxifying qualities of these ingredients (I prefer to rely on my kidneys and frequent bowel movements). Personally, I just like the masochistic act of scrubbing my skin raw for the temporary enjoyment of baby’s butt smoothness. Additionally, I’ve purchased a few bottles of essential oils (for additional projects to be posted later) and this was a fun way to expand my experimentation with them. Whatever your reasons are, they are your own, and you should own them.

There are tons of iterations for exfoliating scrubs. The basic idea is an oil base (i.e. coconut, olive, avocado, baby…the Johnson & Johnson kind. Please don’t squeeze a baby and hope he/she excretes oil), an abrasive ingredient (white sugar, brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, coffee), and optional additives (i.e. honey, essential oils, fruit). My recent trip to Hawaii has made me more coconut-inclined so I started with that to build off of.

Here’s what I used:

  • 5 oz of coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 20 drops of Orange Sweet 100% Essential oil
  • 10 drops of Ginger Root 100% Essential oil


It WAS very easy to make myself and it did fulfill my masochistic need to rid my body of my perceived layers of dead skin cells (and a few healthy ones too most likely). The oil base of the scrub left my skin a little too oily for my taste so I had to follow up with body wash. However, I did feel incredibly moisturized for the next day or so. The scent of the coconut oil persisted despite the body wash follow up and largely overshadowed the orange and ginger, which I could still detect if I unapologetically sniffed myself by burying my nose in my skin.

To make this experiment more fun for myself, I decided to calculate the cost of making my scrub. First, a few parameters. I used Wikipedia’s definition of a drop as 0.05mL and looked up the cost of sugar at my local Target. The other prices listed are my actual costs. I also estimated that I ended up with about 8oz of scrub.

Here’s me being a good student and showing my work:

Ingredient Total Cost Amount Used Fractional Cost
Nature’s Way Coconut Oil $12 for 16 oz 5 oz $3.75
Piping Rock Orange Sweet 100% Essential Oil $4.79 for 2 oz (59mL) 20 drops $0.08
Piping Rock Ginger Root 100% Essential Oil $4.89 for 0.5 oz (15mL) 10 drops $0.16
C&H Sugar $2.89 for 4lb bag 3/4 cup or .33 lbs $0.24

On Amazon, you can purchase an 18 oz tub of Tree Hut Sugar Scrub for $6.49. My concoction comes out to $0.52 per ounce and the Amazon product is $0.36 per ounce. Of course, this number is hugely variable depending on what product you buy, but at a very basic level, this shows you can buy a scrub for cheaper.

I’d be doing my master’s degree a huge disfavor if I didn’t acknowledge the great many variables that are unaccounted for, such as cost of shipping (if any), whether these products are already staples in your pantry vs whether you have to buy them specifically for this purpose, cost of products, quality of products, labor, and qualitative factors like product enjoyability, odor preferences, and crafting enjoyment.

Lessons learned:

  1. Amazon (and Amazon Prime) is still amazing.
  2. Making your own scrub is easy, especially if you already own these products.
  3. Making your own scrub allows you to customize the scents, although it will take some experimentation to get a balanced scent profile.
  4. Making your own scrub may not necessarily be cost saving.
  5. I enjoy being a nerd. Okay, this wasn’t newly learned. I’ve always known this.

End scene.


Thrift Store Finds = DIY Cake Stand

Project: Cake Stand
Items Used:

  • Two silver plated metal platters from Goodwill
  • Two silver plated candlestick holders from Goodwill
  • Loctite Epoxy Adhesive

Tools Needed:

  • Sandpaper
  • A heavy book, or some type of weight
  • Disposable plate/wooden popsicle stick for mixing and spreading the glue

In every googled picture of a pinterest-worthy party, there is always a beautifully decorated table with little food and dessert bites laid out on delicate platters. I suppose there is that saying that “you eat with your eyes” so food that is exquisitely displayed on a platter must taste better than its equal that is thrown unceremoniously on a dinner plate.

With a few family birthday parties coming up, I was inspired to try to make my own cake stands to up the fancy-level on our parties by a notch. I visited my local Goodwill and was excited to find a pair of really nice silver plated platters and candlestick stands. Amid all the options and possible combinations of stands and platters, I opted to get matching metal pieces so I wouldn’t have to spray paint them, and I chose candlesticks that had good heft to them so they wouldn’t be so easy to knock over.
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Ironically, I found an actual cake stand but refused to be so easily swayed from my quest for DIY.

To prep the pieces, I used a piece of sandpaper rough up the edges that were going to be attached (the top of the candlestick and the bottom of the metal platter).

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After extensive research on glue types and recommendations, while standing in front of the glue display, I opted for Loctite Epoxy adhesive. It is comprised of an epoxy resin and a hardener, which you squirt out using the plunger and mix together, and by some magic, bonds just about everything. It also smells nasty.

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I stuck the candlestick to the bottom and weighted it down with a book for about 24 hours.

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And here’s my finished product:

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Just kidding. I borrowed this picture from Amazon since I took neither a picture of the finished cake stand nor the cake stand in action. However, I think Iggy Azalea sums up the sentiment of using my new creation well enough.

DIY Jewelry and Accessory Holder

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Project: DIY Jewelry & Accessory Holder

  • Items Used
    • 3 – 12″ strips of wood
    • Paint or wood stain
    • 1/2″ cup hooks
    • Command picture hanging strips
  • Tools Needed
    • Saw
    • Drill and drill bit (approximately the size of the cup hook)

I’ve never had a good system for keeping my jewelry and accessories organized. Between living in tight spaces and constant moving from place to place, my accessories were often relegated to a re-purposed Teavana box. This box was not treated well, being unceremoniously tossed around, with its contents becoming so intertwined that it was not worth detangling to wear one of the many necklaces, bracelets, or earrings.

But, tangled accessories no more! I found this on Etsy and thought this was an awesome way to organize it all. ….And of course, i had to try to make it myself. I think the best thing about this design is that you can easily customize it to what you need: longer racks, shorter racks, more hooks, less hooks, etc.
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At Home Depot, I was lucky to find the perfect piece of wood in the scrap pile, so it was damn near free (I think it was 25 cents). I cut the wood into 3 foot long pieces, and picking from the many cans of sample paint we had amassed from when we painted our walls, I painted two coats of gray. I originally tried using a wood stain, but didn’t like how it turned out so I painted over it with the standard wall paint.

Then, I drilled small pilot holes at regular intervals into the bottom panel of the wood strips. For the necklace rack, the hols are every half inch, and for the bracelet and earring racks, every 1 inch.

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For the earring rack, I had originally attached one hook at each end of the rack with a wooden dowel suspended through the hooks, so that I could hang earrings from the dowel (Like in the etsy model). However, the dowel I purchased ended up being too big for my earrings to hang smoothly. Also, some of my earrings have a closed loop requiring me to slide it on and off the ends of the dowel, which would have made accessing them a bit awkward.

Into each pilot hole, I screwed a 1/2 inch brass cup hook. The wood was pretty soft, so I had to be careful not to “over screw” so that it didn’t sink too much into the wood.

Finally, I used Command picture hanging strips to attach the racks to the wall in our bedroom. I thought about make it “fancier” and drilling some picture mounting hardware (those little triangle hooks) onto the racks, but the command strips were way easier, and they wouldn’t be as wobbly. I thought my cats might perceive the shiny, dangly objects as a new toy, so I hung them high enough to be mostly out of their reach.

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And, voila! My goods are organized and beautifully displayed on my wall.

Of course, if you don’t want to make it yourself….you can always buy it here. They look really well made, with much nicer wood and hardware.