Tuesday, December 14, 2010

simple gifts: oat floats... or oatmeal "sachets"

oat float
During my first winter on the east coast I discovered the damage that an extremely cold and dry climate can do to your skin. Yikes! I combat our chapped and itchy skin with all kinds of balms and salve, but my favorite remedy is an oat bath. It smells delicious, feels so soothing and is quite miraculous. We made bunches of oat sachets for giving this year. These oat floats make a great addition to a gift basket and a perfect stocking stuffer. I love that they're inexpensive, simple and fast to make... but most of all they make skin soft and happy! I took some pictures to show you how we do it, but it's a basic concept open for your own interpretation. Filling each sachet is a great job for a small helper. Be prepared for scattered oats, but a little mess makes everything a bit more fun, but you know that already. Not a sewer? I bet you could gather oats into the center of a circle of muslin and cinch with a string... make sure it's tied tightly!
Oat Floats
Need: 
  • muslin
  • wool or cotton string
  • organic oats (pulverized a bit in a blender or food processor)
  • sewing machine
  • pinking shears
Make:
  1. Take a long strip of muslin and fold it over lengthwise.
  2. Sew compartments all along the folded strip, keeping a channel between each one for snipping them apart. See photo below in window.
  3. Fill each compartment with a few tablespoons of oats
  4. Slice through each channel with pinking sheers to separate.
  5. Fold over top and pin with a loop of string.
  6. Sew top shut.
making oat floats
making oat floats
making oat floats
 These should be added to a warm bath and can be used as creamy sponge during the soak. My kids love it and so do I! Compost when done. We're filling up "holiday buckets" with these, felted soap, and something yummy I'll share next time.
felted soap adventures
The soap was created without any instructions... just ready hands, a pot of warm water, my friend's handmade soap, and wool roving (mostly from Kate's sheep!). A bit wonky, but very fun. Pin It

26 comments:

  1. I had completely forgotten about using these in the bath. Thanks so much for the reminder, they'll come in very handy during the bitterly cold winter we're having. I love the idea of giving them as gifts too!

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  2. We could all benefit from a soak in an oat bath. Thanks for the reminder about the rejuvenating qualities of oats.

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  3. super good idea! love the idea of making several at a time...brilliant and i never thought of it!

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  4. maya! these are absolutely stunning! and a bit odd to say but i just want to bite into those wool soaps they remind me of candies : )fabulous ideas, clever girl!

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  5. Wow! This is a perfectly-timed tutorial for my giftgiv...oh, who am I fooling? These are for ME and my aching, itchy skin. Too much shoveling this weekend! Thank you!

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  6. Thanks everyone!
    Megan... you can make some for you and to give. I definitely stashed a bunch just for our family:)

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  7. Oh, what an awesome idea!! I was thinking that dried lavender would be a nice touch with the oatmeal too! I am not a bath person but if I were I would want some of these in the tub with me!

    and felted soap ROCK, my brother made me one and I love it

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  8. Oh Maya! These oat floats are wonderful! Thank you for sharing- we're going to make some right away!

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  9. What a great gift idea - and a wonderful way to help deal with the weather wreaking havoc on your skin! Thanks for sharing, I'm gonna have to try it soon!

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  10. Maya, these are awesome! Thank you for such a sweet and easy treat.

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  11. Thank you for the wonderful idea! I have several people that would love these this Christmas. I also like that it is a quick make it gift. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. But this idea is wonderful! Very simple but I like it very much!
    I absolutely have to try to get me too!
    Thanks!
    Mariolonza

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  13. can they be any kind of oats? do they have to be organic? is that just your preference? see i have regular oats and was just wandering. my skin itches terribly lately. would love to make some of these.

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  14. britt- organic is just my preference. by all means use what you have on hand. I think you'll find that these bring great relief!

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  15. I just made six of these quickly this afternoon - thank you so much - this simple gift has been a life saver, as with a sick child I have found my creating time to be the bare minimum.

    Going to click on the other simple gift ideas for further inspiration.

    Thanks again!

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  16. You are so clever! I would have made each individual bag, filled them and then sewn them shut. Eeegads. It's the simple things.

    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

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  17. These are great and I certainly could use them here in Montana!

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  18. wonderful ideas. love your wool soaps. very subtle and beautiful colors.

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  19. Brilliant! I SO need a stash of these for my little guys! These would make an excellent baby shower gift!

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  20. These are so lovely! Do you think white linen would work instead of muslin?

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  21. What a brilliant idea. I never would have thought to sew it up that way, but it makes it so much easier. Thanks for the ideas.

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  22. I really like your idea for "oat floats." They remind me of tea bags. This would be quick stocking stuffer to make for some of my loved ones. Thanks for sharing your good ideas.

    Jody

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  23. Ooh, I'll have to try that. Even on the mild West Coast my skin was cracking as the temps swung back and forth (and my skin has apparently decided that it is suddenly allergic to the only moisturiser I have).

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  24. seriously love all of your ideas! so inspiring! would love some felting tips...something I'm quite intrigued with!...

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  25. So adorable - I love that they look like little tea bags :)

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