Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas present ideas for the crafters in your world - stuff for your workshop

Everyone I know tells me it's hard to shop for me as I make everything I want, so I thought I'd share a list of things you could buy for the bath & body crafter in your world.

I wrote about this topic a few years ago, and thought I'd update it for 2017. Please note I provide the links to online shops as a courtesy. None of these are affiliate links and I receive nothing if you click through and buy anything. 

Heating and holding and melting solids slowly is easiest in a double boiler, and I've been using this Rival Fondue Pot as my double boiler for more than 11 years now. My favourite feature is the dial that allows me to choose my temperature, so I can boil the heck of something, then turn it down before the water starts jumping out of the pot.

I can fit two 1 litre beakers or two 500 ml Pyrex jugs in it, which is more than enough for my needs in my workshop.

Canadian Amazon link
Canadian Walmart link
American Target link for the Oster fondue pot

A tiny scale that weighs to 0.1 grams or 0.01 grams. I've used a Salter diet scale from London Drugs for years, but the last few I've had were ruined during classes when someone poured melted butters or waxes on them. I've moved to this little scale, Smart Weigh ZIP300 Ultra Slim Digital Pocket Scale with Counting Feature, 300 by 0.01g, which I found on Amazon for $18.99.

You could also go into a hydroponic or head shop and get a very accurate scale there!

I think pH meters are essential pieces of equipment for those of us who want to move beyond using the basics to make facial products, hair care products, and more. I've done some testing of a few meters - which you'll see on November 27, 2017 - and the two I like the best are the PH-200 from HM Digital and Jenco 630, but both of those will run you around $100 Canadian. For a less expensive one, consider the Etekcity - the yellow one in the middle - for about $30.

Check out Amazon or your local hydroponic shop to find some of these things.

A nice lab notebook where they can keep all their notes. I make my own as I really like Doane paper but don't like their books, but you can get someone a really nice book with dot grid or graph paper that opens flat as it's a serious pain in the bum to have to hold something down when you have a mixer in your other hand!

Do you have ideas to share? Make a comment or two below!


Ally H. said...

I am the crafter in my world :-) but I do have a few suggestions for possible gifts. I go through a lot of pipettes, and generally like to have a handful of spatulas around when I'm working too--so items for hand mixing and small measurements are good to have on hand. More beakers would be nice as well (I get mine from Home Science Tools). Also, I think Lotioncrafter's microbial test kit would make a fun gift (fun for me anyway!). If one is at a total loss, gift certificates are always a good idea--that way, crafters get exactly what they want.

Home Science Tools:

Lotioncrafter Test Kit:

Cheers :-)

Lehni R. Kersher said...

new fragrances or liquid extracts, cute containers--coloured glass dropper bottles, lip balm pots. mica! one can never have enough colours. :) useful for bath bombs, unicorn slime projects etc. if nothing else.

Doris Bitler said...

The first things I thought about were pipettes and beakers, too!

I prefer the 3 ml pipettes like these

I don't think you can ever have enough beakers, so a mixed-size set like this would be great

I basically hate spending money on non-ingredients, so I would always appreciate packaging and stuff like that. Not a very sexy gift, but I'd love to get a big bag of empty bottles or jars :-)

I can think of a few great gifts that aren't "things." One is the gift of time to create. The giver might take over chores for an entire day, deliver meals to the workshop, or something similar. Another is the gift of labor. I don't love packaging my creations, so someone offering to wrap soap or fill bottles would be very much appreciated.

For the gift that keeps on giving, how about a Patreon subscription so your crafter can get the awesome monthly ezines?

sana said...

hello, susan
first of all, I just wanted to say how incredibly helpful your blog is. i have been spending hours every day just browsing through your posts. to be fair im a complete newbie so most of the things go over my head! i wanted access to your ebooks so it would be easier to have information in a compiled form. i made the donation two days ago ( for formulating facial products and back to basics) but haven't received the ebooks yet. can you please check?
also, i live in a country where I don't have access to shea butter/ cocoa butter/mango butter etc and I would have to have this imported at almost double the price because of shipping cost. I wanted to start with anhydrous products and although its reasonably cold nowadays my country has a very hot climate. keeping that in mind what are the kinds of butter and oils which are most versatile when I start experimenting ( and good to use in a hot climate)? I do want to move onto lotions but will stick with easier to make products yet.
regards, sana

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Saha! I’m afraid I don’t have a donation in your name. I don’t understand your question. You can’t accesss butters? And you want to know what butters are good for warm climates? They all are as liquid oils don’t change viscosity in the heat. You’ll want choose some that have longer shelf lives as more heat = increased rate of rancidity.

Ally H. said...

Doris, "the gift of time to create"--perfect! Perhaps a cute idea would be to give the creator "coupons" with just the help that you listed--food delivery, packaging, domestic help, and of course, time. As a single mom, right now I only have time to create what we need for the most part (and sometimes not even that!), and the "gift of time" you mentioned I would prefer above any ingredient or piece of equipment. Great idea! :-)

sana said...

Susan , thanks for your reply. It was a paypal in the name of

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm sorry, Sana, but I don't have anything from that email address. Could you please re-send me the receipt to my email address at as this isn't really the best way to communicate and it's really off topic. Thank you.

sana said...