A fun, inexpensive and easy project to make is lip balm. It requires three ingredients plus a metal tin container that can be found in any craft or hardware store or recycled from a small non toxic household item. So why make lip balm? For under five dollars you can pick up virtually any flavor or color in compact marketing tube that kids love. First of all, like most children it is almost inevitable to be lost. I can not tell how many countless lip balms that have disappeared in a week, so many times I found myself running to the store more than I want to admit to buy the illusive balm just to spend more money on impulse items. Second and most important, it is a great way to spend time in the kitchen making something simple and fun. Children are introduced to mixing, measuring and counting simple ingredients they are normally overlooked by most families. And making lip balm isn’t just for girls either. Boys can enjoy this exercise too, because it isn’t lip stick or make up, but a useful household item in the winter, as well as windy days. Lastly, the children love their own work. They are less likely to just let this dropped to the bottom of backpack or roll of a bench and get lost. No, they will keep this lip balm close by and hopefully use it before their lips turn cracked and red so we do not have to fill that sense of guilt mothers we often fill when our children fail to keep themselves safe. This project takes ten minutes to make and makes about .05 oz of lip balm.
Lip balm container, 1/2; oz or smaller
Shortening, 2 tsp
Honey, ½ tsp
Powdered drink mix, unsweetened, 1/2 tsp
1 packet of Splenda
Hot water, ½ tsp
Small bowls, 3
With my ten dollar challenge underway, it was very important that I find an inexpensive container. I could have used an old film container or recycle an old lipstick tube, but I did not have any on hand. So I scoured the craft stores and discount chains without luck for a lip gloss container. I settled on an Artists Loft palette cups with lids, 2 pack. These cups were connected together by a sheet of metal that I had to forcibly remove with pliers and metal cutters. It was no easy task and it was a miracle that I didn’t cut my fingers. Another option I found was glitter cups, four for a dollar, if you decide to use them, or any plastic container, wait for the lip balm mixture to cool to room temperature before using them. These palette cups pack cost under three dollars so I had seven dollars left.
I needed to be frugal at the grocery store. Crisco three pack of shortening sticks, check. The project called for only 2 tsp, so I had plenty of shortening left for another project. Honey, check. I had only one dollar left and I needed pre sweetened Kool Aid. I didn’t I had enough money for the pre sweetened Kool aid, so I settled on unsweetened Kool aid packet instead.The unsweetened Kool aid packet was bitter without sugar, and I could not afford to buy a bag of sugar. What to do, what to do? So in order to get the sugar, I ordered a coffee, using money outside of the budget, at the local fast food restaurant and used the Splenda for my project instead. Problem solved. Most of the craft projects will never reach the ten dollar mark, this one did. So in order for you to remain under the ten dollars, use a recycled lip balm container or purchasing a less expensive container as I mentioned above just wait for the mixture to cool , simply skip the honey and buy a bag of sugar. Just add a pinch of sugar to the shortening mixture in place of the honey. Now the real fun begins.
In a small bowl combine the shortening and honey, mix until well blended, set aside. In another bowl, mix together the ½ tsp of unsweetened Kool aid mix and one packet of Splenda. This is what tames the Kool aid bitter taste. Add the hot water to the Kool aid mix. Then slowly add a drop of Kool aid mix to the shortening mix until you have reached the color you want. If you pour the whole Kool aid mixture in at once it will turn the lip balm a dark color and may bleed on your lips. Pour into the lip balm mixture in the container and refrigerate for eight hours. That is it. How easy.
You can double the recipe for more fun. The mixture will be creamy and light. If it gets too greasy, simply put it back into the refrigerator until it hardens.
Next Week: Clown Pot Chimes