By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gardeners are always getting their hands dirty, so lovely hand scrubs can be popular, if often pricey presents. But they’re actually easy and inexpensive to make yourself, with sugar or salt along with oil, liquid soap or hand lotion.

Just get a pretty jar that’s clean – recycle one leftover from a candle you had, a nice jar of jam, or buy a new one made for canning. Fill the jar more than halfway with white or brown sugar, salt, or some of each. Sugar’s gentler on skin, salt’s scrubbier, and the larger the grains the more abrasive it will be, so choose one or mix the two based on skin sensitivity. Add herbs, spices, or citrus zest, or a few drops of an essential oil so it smells good.

For gardener’s hand scrub, you can stir in olive oil, coconut oil, or any vegetable oil you like, or even baby oil or dish soap.

For use in the bath, skip the oil so the tub doesn’t get greasy and slippery and instead, mix in bodywash, hand lotion, or shampoo into the sugar. Any scent or color in the liquid soap will add tint and aroma to your scrub – one of my favorites is peppermint castile soap.

This isn’t a strict recipe – just add more of your chosen ingredients until you like the consistency and the jar’s full. Or mix a lot of it in a big bowl and fill several jars to make many gifts at once using the ratio of about twice as much dry to liquid, but the proportion’s really up to you.

Decorate the lid with paint or a sticker to hide where it might say ‘jelly’ or ‘salsa’ or something, or cover it with fabric.

Then, add a ribbon with a gift tag describing what’s inside.

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