DIY Salve for Gifting, Samples, Trial Size

The size jars that I used are 1/4 ounce.  They are a great little size for travel or trial sized salves.

This recipe filled 24 – 1/4 ounce bottles, plus a little in an overflow container. (Always good to have)

Basic Salve Recipe

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons beeswax pastilles

The Salve Making Process

After you have gathered your basic ingredients, figure out what essential oils you are going to put in your salve.  I made two sets for gifts this year, and kept a few for myself, so I used a bunch of different oils and combinations.  It is a good idea to label a piece of paper with the oils in each container so that you don’t forget what goes where.


I labeled plain white paper with the oils that go in each jar so there was no question of what I had going on.


Since oils can evaporate, don’t put yours in the jars too soon.  You will have time to do this while your salve melts on the stove.  Just get them all ready and your essential oils standing by for when you need them.

Once you are ready to make the salve, you will need a glass bowl or container, a pan with water, and something to stir the mixture with.  I designated a glass Pyrex measuring cup just for making salve so I don’t have to worry about cleaning it out every time.

Because of the size of the glass dish I used, I did the recipe a half at a time.

Heat a pan of water to simmering, but not boiling.  Once your water is heated, add your ingredients to a glass bowl or container and place the container in your pan of hot water.  This is where patience comes in- a lot of waiting and stirring happens!


I labeled plain white paper with the oils that go in each jar so there was no question of what I had going on.


While you are (patiently) waiting, go ahead and add your essential oils to your jars.  I used about three drops per jar, depending on the oil.

Respire Blend- 5 drops of a respiratory blend OR 2 drops Peppermint, 2 drops Eucalyptus, and one drop Melaleuca
Healing Blend- 1 drop Lemon, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Melaleuca
Peppermint Blend- 4 drops Peppermint
Bug Bite Blend- 3 drops Lavender, 1 drop Lemon, 1 drop Melaleuca
Sick Day Blend- 3 drops Shield blend, 1-2 drops Oregano OR 1 drop each of Clove, Rosemary, Oregano, and Eucalyptus

I would recommend that you consult an essential oil book or an online resource while deciding which blends to use.

Once your salve mixture is melted together, take your glass container out of the pan and sit it to cool just a bit.  Some essential oils can lose their healing properties if they are heated– I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to all this trouble I don’t want to take any chances!  (Keep your pan of water heated just in case you need it later)

Once you can safely touch the bottom of your glass container, it is probably okay to start pouring your mixture into the jars containing the essential oils that you chose.  If you let your mixture cool too much, it may start to harden while you are pouring.  If you’ve kept your pan of water hot, you can always put it back in for a couple of minutes until it softens again.

I have noticed that different oils mix differently with the salve mixture- some seem to mix themselves more than others.  If you want to make sure the oil is mixed into all of the salve, stir the mixture with a toothpick before it hardens.

It doesn’t take long for the mixture to start to get firm.  If you find that one of your jars doesn’t have the scent that you wanted, you could try softening your jar of salve in the microwave or a shallow pan of water, then adding more essential oils.  Keep in mind that when you heat your jar of salve, you may be jeopardizing the medicinal properties of the oils already in the mixture.

For this size of jar, you should keep the lid off for 4-6 hours to allow the salve to firm up and any moisture to evaporate.

Labeling Your Salve Jars

Labeling your salve can be as simple as writing on the lid or side with a sharpie, or as intricate and embellished as you like.  If you are giving salves for a gift, always include the all of the included oils on the label somewhere.  Instructions on how to use the salve and what to use it for are a good idea as well.

I chose to use peel-n-stick mailing labels for my jars.  Since they will be gifts, I included what oils are contained and what the salve should be used for.


Creating labels on your computer is easy, but some people may not know how to navigate the settings.  I went into Microsoft Publisher and chose “labels” for the kind of document.  I typed in the Avery number and the computer brought up the correct size of labels.

Many programs are set up so that you can input information one time and it will print on all of the labels on the sheet.  That is not what we want in this case.  What I do is input my information for the first label, then select “insert  duplicate page.”  This creates a label just like the one I just made.  I edit how I want, then insert another, and so on.

When it is time to print, you will have to make sure your settings are set up correctly.  Your program will naturally want to print an entire sheet of just your first label.  You will want to make sure that you have it set to print multiple pages per sheet.  This will print all of your pages, or different labels, on one sheet of paper.


I labeled plain white paper with the oils that go in each jar so there was no question of what I had going on.


Before you print on your label paper, print a test page on a plain sheet of paper.  Compare it to your label sheet and make sure they line up and all the information is correct.  Once things look okay, print on your label paper.  (It is a lot cheaper to goof on plain paper than expensive label paper!)


I labeled plain white paper with the oils that go in each jar so there was no question of what I had going on.


Once I had my labels on the jars I decided to make the lids pretty.  I have had great success gluing paper circles to the lids of glass jars and coating with more glue to make it water-resistant, so I decided to do the same for these.  I gathered my supplies and went to work.


I labeled plain white paper with the oils that go in each jar so there was no question of what I had going on.


They looked awesome, and I was so excited!  But….  The next day, with a little pressure, the paper slid right off the lids!  The smooth plastic lids didn’t hold the glue like I thought it would.  I brought out the super glue and almost a year later, the lids still look great!

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