After I posted pictures of the soaps I made I've had several (well, a couple!) of requests for more information so I thought I'd tell you how I make them.
You need the following:
- Melt and Pour soap base (any type, I happen to like shea and so that's mostly what I use, although I do have some clear glycerin and some honey on my shelf). The soap bases can be used as they are but I like to add fragrance and maybe some other additives. Soap 'purists' would say melt and pour is cheating but I'm not willing to get into playing around with dangerous substances like lye.
- a mold, or molds. I prefer the silicone ones because they are much easier when removing the soap bars
- Fragrance oils - these come pre-mixed in small bottles and I often mix and combine different fragrances, depending on my whim and what happens to be 'nose-worthy' at the time
- Colorants and additives - there are liquid dyes as well as powders that you can use to color your soap and I prefer working with the liquids to avoid anything getting into the air. For additives, there's only your imagination. The men's version of the ones I showed in my previous post had finely ground walnut shells added. I've seen children's soaps that had a small toy embedded inside.
- a 4 cup glass measuring cup (if using a microwave) or you can also use a cooking pot (if using the stove).
- a small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol
Cut the soap base into cubes about 1" square and place in either the glass measuring cup or the pot. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until just melted. In my microwave it takes about 4 bursts. I don't know how long it takes on top of the stove but I would use low heat and stir regularly. You have to be careful it doesn't burn. Then I let it stand for about 2 minutes to cool slightly before adding the fragrance and any other additives. As for how much fragrance oil to use - there are all sorts of suggestions around the internet for amounts. I tend to go with about 1/2 tsp. per block of soap (which makes about 5 bars in my rectangular mold). I would start with 1/4 tsp. and add a little more if you feel you'd like it to be stronger. Stir thoroughly and pour into molds. If you see little bubbles rising to the top you can spritz with a little rubbing alcohol.
There are literally thousands of ideas on the internet for various additives, scents and wrapping ideas. I usually order my supplies from HERE - they ship to both Canada and the US. I've ordered fragrance oils from other sources but found they aren't as nice.
Hope this helps and that you're inspired to
try making your own!
- If you're giving small gifts to a knitter or crocheter, how about THIS creative way to package them? I love this idea!
- I just stumbled across THIS concept - something really different! Sort of an embroidered combination of coloring and zentangles. HERE is another link that shows some more ideas. I try not to send you to commercial sites very often, but this did catch my eye.
- Have a look through the galleries of THIS artist!
Today the quote is from Mr. Rogers..."Frankly, there isn't anyone you couldn't learn to love once you've heard their story"