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Literary Lipbalms

After the fun of our wildflower soap making adventure, we wanted to make more stuff. Let’s be make-ier people. Let’s make scarves and pottery and jam and let’s open a shop in a charming tiny town where we sell all our makey things. Homemade Stuff is what I’m thinking for a name, but that’s just because I’m only in Stage 1 of idea. This title will, of course, progress. Okay, maybe we won’t open a shop or make handcarved walking sticks (it was on my list). But I can make little bits of happy with small projects that make me smile. Sometimes I make things for my kids, sometimes I make things for me, and sometimes I can’t figure out whether it’s for my kids or for me because usually these projects create symbiotic happiness. Except paper mache. That was for the kids, and for me it created nothing but a pastey mess.

But back to small makey happy projects.

Enter Exhibit A: Literary Lipbalm.

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It started as just regular lipbalm, but then I was digging through what we had with us on our trip to decorate the top of the lipbalm tins, and I found this stack of miniature illustrated postcards based on literature. We cut them to fit the lip balm tins, and they turned out so darn cute, I want to make more and collect them. Our tins feature scenes from Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, but you could cut up pages of any old books–favorite poems, sheet music, etc. to decorate these. You could pass them out at literary-themed birthday parties or bridal showers. You could turn them into teacher gifts, pop them into bridesmaid baskets, toss them from a float at a parade.

What you’ll need:

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Mix equal parts of the coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax. We used 4 oz. of each, filled all the tins and saved what was left. If you have leftover, you can store it in a small Tupperware (do people still say Tupperware? Is Tupperware party still a thing? If so, I want to be at one. Sorry–tangent.). Microwave in 30 sec. increments, stirring between each until everything is melted together. It shouldn’t be too hot to work with, and it starts solidifying quickly, but no worries–you can still spoon it into containers if it turns into a balm or put it back into the microwave.

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If you want everything the same flavor, you can add your oils or flavorings into the entire mix. Our girls wanted to make their own flavorings, so they added oils and flavorings right into the tin. Spoon mixture into tins.

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Add flavoring oils into tins and gently stir; plastic knives worked well for this. We added about 4 drops for each tin. I made one with about 8 drops of Spearmint and it was super tingly at first, but I love it now.

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The balm should solidify quickly.

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Use tin top to trace a circle onto the illustration you want to use to decorate your tin. Cut a little inside the circle to make it smaller than the tin top so it leaves a nice edge.

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Using the paintbrush and glue, paint on a thin layer of glue and adhere your illustration to tin top.

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Voila! We love them. The balm feels a lot like Burt’s Bees. And the tins are just the cutest.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Grrrr…if I had your kind of time, I think I could be very crafty indeed!

    I’m going to try to fit this in though. 😉

  2. This looks way fun! I have never considered making my own lip balm but now, I’m thinking I should try! Thanks for sharing!

  3. dying over the AOGG sweetness!!!!

  4. I’m new to your blog and love it! This is a great idea – I’m definitely going to try it. You can never have too many lip balms :)

  5. I’m constantly amazed at how crafty and clever you are.

  6. Heather says:

    Tupperware is still a thing! And there are lots of great new products, you should check it out online. I would send you a catalog but I’m in Canada.

  7. Make-ier? Interesting!

    You are so creative :)

  8. WOW this looks a lot like something I saw on Pinterest. SO crafty of you. You are just the best mom, thinking of all this stuff for your kids to do on vacation. Cheers!

  9. These are so sweet. I am definitely going to try these with my kiddos. Thanks!

  10. Tupperware is definitely still a thing. There’s a lady in my hometown that sells it. You wouldn’t believe all the happy, fun, organizey things they have now. If you were closer I’d have a party and invite you.

  11. Love this idea! A great activity with, or without kids!

  12. Now this looks like something my daughter and I have just got to try. She currently have all 987 chap sticks known to mankind. So what’s another one. Technically, lip balm is different. And homemade handmade is different and FUN. Thanks for sharing !!!!

  13. Adorable. Adding to our summer list. :) Thanks for sharing!

  14. These are fantastic!!! I can’t wait to make these…where did you get the tins? And yes Tupperware is definitely still a thing…my Mom has been selling it since I was 2 (that is 25 years!!)…I am what you call in the Tupperware world a “Tupperkid” haha.

  15. What a brilliant idea! I’m looking forward to giving this a try. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  16. Kelly Sutton says:

    I just have to know…did you REALLY just happen to have those small, literary cards with you on your cross country journey!? Is this real!? We’ve all been on trips and packed a mini van with three kids and and handful of charming, literary inspired art cards were never on my packing list randomly….

  17. jENNIFER rOWLEY says:

    Please tell me where you got the postcards??? Cutest things ever.

  18. Interestingly enough, my hubby is currently in his workshop making hand carved walking sticks that we’ll be selling shortly on our site….

  19. This is a great idea! They are so cute. Love the tin cans and cut out design.

  20. I’m loving reading about all your fun summer adventures! I can think of many great uses for literary lip balm. :)

  21. Sandra moeggenberg says:

    I made lipbalm as wedding favors 5 years ago. So simple and everyone loved them! I used lemon oil as the “flavor” and bought teeny plastic packages. Everyone should try this!

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