The following little ideas would be great for a basket for your hardworking cowboy. Don't get yourself all overwhelmed trying to be perfect. He's hardly going to notice the bows on the sachets or the way it was laid out in the basket. But he will notice his pretty little wife who is spoiling him something awful!
If you are not in the mood to pamper your cowboy just this once, you could always put the following into a basket and give it to newlyweds or to someone on their anniversary. Choose one or all items to put in your basket, and add a cute card that says, "Handmade by ____ ____, " because you want them to know you worked hard at it!
Chocolates (in the craft and grocery stores, you can find melt and pour, or use a good fudge recipe or a turtle recipe)
English toffee: This is like making peanut brittle, except you cook it less long and add chocolate as a layer on the top. My favorite candy! I use the Better Homes & Garden cookbook recipe.
Massage oil: Give a small jar of olive oil with a little essential oil in it (you could also use almond oil or jojoba oils, etc., but olive is at the grocery store). It is rumored that men love the scent of vanilla; try it!
Bath tea: Cut squares of cheesecloth or cotton material, add herbs, and tie off with a rubber band. The user will toss this sachet into the tub as the water is running into it. Chamomile and calendula are especially great for the skin.
Candles: You can make candles the long way or the short way (with granules or melt and pour). Add essential oils. If you make your own, use scents that match the massage oil and bath tea.
Body scrub: I love this one especially. Put sea salt or brown sugar or white sugar (I've even seen coffee grains used!) into a container. Add oil (olive oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, jojoba, etc.) to the salt/sugar until the mixture is damp but not dripping wet. Almost slushy. Add essential oils for a scent, if desired. The user puts a bit of the mixture in the palm of their hand and scrubs it on their body. When they rinse the scrub off, the oils remain on the skin, leaving it soft. This is my dh's favorite foot scrub. I rub it on my elbows, feet, knees, and hands for softer skin.
Bath milk: Mix 2 parts powdered milk to 1 part ground old-fashioned oatmeal. Essential oils may be added. The user places a small handful of the mixture into the tub's hot water (note: If you don't want to grind the oats, use a sachet or a cheesecloth for the mixture so the oat flakes don't clog the drain). It will leave their skin soft.
Sachets: If you have some herbs on hand such as lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, calendula, mints, etc., you could make some pretty sachets for drawers or linen closets. Just sew three sides of a square from your fabric stash. Add a ribbon or a drawstring. Or, sew all four sides and give them as herb squares without an open top. (note: dh may be embarrased to have lavender-scented t-shirts for work. Be thoughtful, now!)
Herbal Tea: Also with herbs, you could create some herbal tea from chamomile and mint. I do a 50-50 mixture. This also makes great cold tea, and doesn't need sugar, IMO. They may not drink tea, but it smells nice. It also looks nice on the kitchen counter in a glass jar.
Hot Cocoa Mixture: For dh, and anyone else who doesn't seem to be a tea drinker, make a batch of hot cocoa.
Dream Pillows: Sew another sachet out of breathable fabric, such as
cotton, but this time sew a rectangle. Add a mixture of herbs just like above for the sachets. Add a ribbon. This dream pillow will be placed inside a pillowcase for use. The bedroom will smell pretty and they'll likely be sleeping better with it. My dh loves his dream pillow and wants it every night, especially during the Spring when he has 2-3 months of allergy agony. The dream pillows clear his sinuses up so he can breathe well enough to sleep. In his, I use mints, eucalyptus, calendula, chamomile, lavender, and mugwort – or whatever I have on hand out of those. For a more romantic floral pillow, use: lavender, chamomile, calendula and rose petals. Mugwort may also be used, as it is supposed to help someone sleep.
What are your ideas?
by Lori Seaborg