Easy DIY Sugar Scrub for gift giving

lemon rosemary sugar scrub in oui yogurt jar with wooden lid and tag that says "garden scrub"

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Learn to make a hand scrub perfect for gardeners, mechanics, painters, anyone who gets their hands dirty

Gift giving time is almost here. One of the things I love is making gifts for people that I know they will find useful. I’ve been working hard lately to reduce waste in our home – most especially single use plastic, but anything that can be repurposed is high up on the list.

I love those little Oui yogurts in the glass containers. The containers are adorable and I hate throwing them away (at least glass is much more recyclable than plastic!).  Last year we made some awesome soy wax candles with them, but I really wanted to come up with some different. When I read that the jars had the same size opening as small Weck jars, the idea-wheel started turning. You can get the classic glass lid with seal & clips or an adorable wooden lid. I’m ridiculously excited about lids. So watch for a series of posts on things you can do with Oui yogurt jars. 

First up is this handy hand scrub. It’s great for gardeners but equally good for anyone who really gets their hands dirty – think mechanics, painters, etc. It leaves your hands clean and super soft, making it a great gift for just about anyone really. It’s extremely easy to make. Store bought sugar scrubs can get really pricey and sometimes have questionable ingredients. It’s really so simple and inexpensive to create amazing sugar scrubs.I’m listing the ingredients to make enough for one jar. If you’re making multiples, just use some handy-dandy math to expand the recipe. 

The hand scrub uses simple ingredients: Sugar, Castile soap, glycerin, avocado oil, rosemary sprigs and essential oils. You can leave out the rosemary if you don’t have any on hand. But listen – plant some rosemary! It’s a perennial, easy to care for, and so convenient to cut off a sprig when you need it. It grows well outdoors or in a container too. It works amazing well to scrub off dirt, paint, greasy messes and leaves your skin super soft. 

We’re currently doing some home updates and one of the projects is re-staining the banister. My gloves ripped and I ended up with wood stain on my hands. Use this hand scrub and it took care of the sticky mess on my hands with ease. 

sugar scrub mixed in blue pottery bowl

Why use sugar?

Sugar exfoliates old dead skin cells when it is mixed with oil or soap. Sugar scrubs leave the skin stimulated and gives it a coat of healthy moisturizer. Could you use salt instead? According to skincare.com, Salt scrubs tend to boast larger particles that are grittier. Sugar scrubs have smaller particles and tend to be gentler on the skin. They are less drying and less abrasive than salt scrubs. So, yes, you could use salt but depending on your skin type (or your recipient’s) it may be too harsh. 

I chose lemon and rosemary essential oils to scent this hand scrub (the combo smells amazing) and add a little cleaning power. Lemon can help cut thru greasy messes. Rosemary is also good for the skin but you get limited skin benefits from a wash off product. Both have some natural anti-bacterial/anti-viral qualities, which is something that should be important to all of us these days. Citrus oils can cause your skin to be photosensitive, but again since this is a rinse of product, those risks are minimal. 

oui yogurt jar with wooden lid on counter with 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary on the counter in front of it

Making the hand scrub is as simple as mixing everything up in a bowl and putting it in the glass jar. I chose the adorable wooden lid for this project.They are about $2.50 each. Once you’re done with the scrub, you can fancy up the jar with string, tags, maybe even a cute charm. Beautiful, useful gift that will cost you just a few dollars to make.

If you’re looking for some other great gift giving ideas, try your hand at making bath bombs or these wax melts that use no synthetic ingredients.

sugar scrub mixed in blue pottery bowl
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Easy DIY Lemon Rosemary Sugar Scrub

This simple and inexpensive sugar scrub is ideal for gift giving and is a great way to repurpose those adorable glass Oui yogurt jars
Keyword: diy, gifts, lemon, rosemary, sugar scrub


  • ½ cup sugar  (I use organic cane sugar. Use what you have on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil (you could also use coconut or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 teaspoon glycerin (this is moisturizing for the skin)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil


  • Combine first four ingredients, stir well. Chop rosemary leaves and add to mixture along with essential oils. Place in air tight jar. Use with in 6 months.
    Amount in recipe fills one glass Oui yogurt jar

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