Glass jars with homemade lemon sugar scrub inside

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and while it’s a great opportunity to celebrate our own moms, it’s also a chance to honor all the nurturers in our life. This simple DIY lemon sugar scrub uses lemon juice, coconut oil, sugar, and lemon essential oil to create a beautiful mother’s day gift idea. 

At the end of the lemon sugar scrub recipe, you can also find printable labels to accompany your gift. What better way to acknowledge the hard work women do than by gifting them this invigorating body scrub to soothe their aching feet. 

We mothers are creatures of service. We stand on our strong feet at the stove, at the homework table, and at the sink as we scour off the week’s grime. Our taxed feet could use a little pampering. 

But my mind goes immediately to Jesus, whose feet were as tired, soiled, and cracked as those of His disciples. 

Yet He crouched in front of the water basin and washed the unmentionable muck off their feet while His own were still coated in filth. 

That’s a grace we can emulate, even in our flawed state—giving to another who may be disregarded or even less deserving than oneself.

This Mother’s Day, you can make and gift this revitalizing lemon sugar scrub to the mothers in (or even out of) your circle whose feet may be as weary as yours. 

Gifted grace.


To make this lemon sugar scrub, combine:


  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Skin-Softening Oil (popular choices are coconut, almond, or grapeseed oil)
  • 10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil (Lemon is one of the most common and least expensive essential oils—you may even be able to find some at your local grocery store)
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon (remove any seeds)
  • Optional: Vitamin E Skin Oil, as a natural preservative to make the sugar scrub last longer


Once combined, pour your scrub mixture into a small glass jar/container with an opening wide enough for scooping and an airtight lid. 


If you have an essential oil that would complement lemon, such as rosemary, lavender, or spearmint, use 5 drops along with 5 drops of lemon.


Adorn your jar with rustic twine, raffia, or a dainty ribbon. The jars also look lovely with earthy garnishes like rosemary or lavender sprigs. A little wooden spoon tucked into the twine would be a sweet and practical touch.


No doubt your grandmother, mother, or sister will enjoy your lovely homemade gift, but is there a mother you know who may be forgotten this year?

Mothers come in all forms, and at its core the word “mother” is any woman who nurtures life. 


  • You may know a young married lady who has been trying without success to get pregnant. 
  • You may know a woman who always had the heart to be a mother, but has embraced the role of doting aunt instead. 
  • You may know an empty-nest mother who doesn’t receive anything but a text on Mother’s Day from her adult children. 
  • You may know a foster mom who has no biological children of her own.
  • You may know a mother who lost a pregnancy or child this year.


A scrub like this can easily be made in bulk and parsed into several little jars for gifting to multiple mothers. Giving the forgotten mothers a little something for them to feel seen and cared for is exponential grace.


Jesus washing the feet of His disciples carried an even grander message:

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:14-15, 17).

Jesus tells us we are blessed when we offer grace.

If you are fortunate enough to live near your mom, why not embrace Jesus’ example fully and use the scrub to wash your mother’s feet in the same selfless, loving way He did?

As you run your hands over the aching feet of the woman who carried you, who nurtured you, feel the blessing that comes from grace. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers—to all nurturers of life.

*(Disclaimer) Be mindful that oil-based scrubs can make your tub or shower floor very slippery so they are best used in a foot-washing basin. Lemon oil can cause photosensitivity; use this scrub at night, limit to areas that won’t be too exposed to the sun. Or for really sensitive complexions, forego the lemon and use rosemary drops in its place.



Beautiful photos by Loralie Hoffort | @highwoodroad


To make your gift giving even easier, we’ve created a beautiful printable label for your DIY lemon sugar scrub and are thrilled to offer this FREE to our readers. Enter your name and email below and we’ll send it right over!


Share This Post

    1. Christie, I am so thrilled that you are interested in making this! Did you enter your email in the space above? I believe if you do, the labels will come straight to your inbox.

  1. I love this as a really thoughtful idea to celebrate Mothers Day. Aside from the joy of using the product would bring to Mom, the fact that one of her children made this with her in mind is something she would be sure to appreciate. Still time to put this together for her!

    1. Nicole, thank you so much for taking the time to read! I completely agree that we moms love handmade gifts the most— it reveals the service that Jesus taught us to enact.

  2. I am imagining how amazing this sugar scrub must smell! And with your instructions it sounds incredibly easy to make, as well. Thanks for such a great gift idea!

  3. This is such a lovely idea for Mother’s Day! I especially love the idea to actually wash her feet yourself. What a nice way to show your love.

    1. Jesus is the quintessential example of someone who serves others out of love. Thank you for reading, Genesis!

  4. I’ve made sugar scrubs before but never thought of using lemon. It looks so refreshing and rejuvenating! I think this is the perfect DIY gift. Saving to make soon!

    1. I don’t know about you, but I crave the refreshment of lemon this time of year! Thanks for saving, Yolanda!

  5. Oh goodness, this is beautiful! I want to make this for all my friends + family! And…myself, of course. I bet it would incredible with grapefruit EO, too…and love the addition of rosemary EO. Pinning right now!

  6. This is such a cheerful post! And your photography is beautiful. Thank you for such a fun mother’s day idea. I love the idea of making my own lemon sugar scrub. I should try it.

    1. Isn’t the photography lovely?! My friend Loralie Hoffort does the photos for this magazine/blog and they are stunning! Thanks, Janette!

  7. This is such a cheerful post! And your photography is beautiful. Thank you for such a fun mother’s day idea. I love the idea of making my own lemon sugar scrub. I should try it!

  8. First of all, I love all things lemon when it comes to desserts, but I also love the clean fresh lemon smell. Thanks for creating something that it is so helpful and rejuvenating for moms. We have a tendency to take care of ourselves last as moms, and it’s so important to not do that! Self-care isn’t selfish!

  9. Normally, I wouldn’t even consider undertaking a homemade gift like this, but your pictures just look so beautiful and polished. What a lovely gift idea!

    1. My friend Loralie takes the pictures that go with the articles I write! She is so incredibly talented.

  10. Your presentation is beautiful – it’s a wonderful gift idea to all the ladies in my life! I want to make it for myself too!

    1. Kelly, thank you! I like making big batches so that I can gift a few and save one leftover tub for myself!

  11. Ooh I love homemade sugar scrubs! I bet this one smells absolutely amazing and fresh because of the lemon. Plus that color is so gorgeous. It would look wonderful on my vanity.

    1. Kait, thank you so much! I think this scrub looks the prettiest with coconut oil as the oil of choice. When I use grapeseed oil (green), it doesn’t look quite as lovely as with the coconut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *