A couple of months ago my wife Clay and I were talking about my sewing project this year in which I have committed to making my own clothes or buying them second hand for the entire year — all in an effort to consume less & save money, or at least to be more conscious of my consumption & spending. Clay mentioned that she’d been thinking about how together we could extend that idea to gift giving. We collectively spend a lot of money on gifts each year — for things like birthdays and holidays, and also for smaller things like going to a friend’s home for dinner. She suggested that we spend time about once a month designing and making our own gifts for friends and family, all ready made to give away.
So this past weekend we embarked on our first collaborative project: citrus bath salts (made from scratch, which is super easy!). Clay came up with the name Un Bon Bain (that’s “a good bath” in French), I designed the packaging (which was carved for block printing), and we made the bath salts and block printed the packaging together.
Here are the stamps I carved to make the packaging. For more on carving stamps & block printing, I recommend Christine Schmidt’s book Print Workshop. My friend Jen Hewett (another amazing block printer) is also teaching a block printing class at Makeshift Society in May. I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon block printing with Jen last week (after reading Christine’s book) and got to put everything I’d read into practice.
Ahead of time, we purchased all the ingredients for the bath salts (we used Martha Stewart’s recipe here), the jars (purchased at a local food coop), and everything we needed for block printing (I used my friend Christine’s book, mentioned above, as a reference for that).
Then Sunday we got to work. Making the bath salts was super easy and fast. Printing the labels took a bit longer because there were some mess-ups (all part of the learning process since block printing is new to us).
In the end, we have 12 jars of bath salts, ready to gift! We plan to make different gifts monthly, and next (since not everyone wants to take a bath), we’ll be making some flavored nuts with their own packages. Stay tuned for that.
Best part? Spendng time with Clay getting ink on our hands.
Have a happy Tuesday, friends!