Let's Make Soap
Before we go into the exciting process of soap making, let's talk about some of the benefits of making your own soap. After all, if for 50 cents you can go out and buy a perfectly good bar, why go through all the trouble of making soap on your own?
- Soap making is a fun and enjoyable craft that you can do at parties with kids or adults, on your own, and is a wonderful hobby for people of all ages.
- When you make soap you choose your own ingredients. This means you can make soap that is ideal for your skin type or the fragrance/type that you prefer.
- In addition, homemade soap is a natural, feel good alternative to commercially produced (i.e. chemically-controlled) soaps.
- Using a similar process, you can also make lip-gloss, lipstick, face and body scrubs, and other lotions and soaps.
- You can also make homemade soap shapes as party favors. This is especially popular for large events such as weddings. You can use some of the fun tricks we've listed below or simply color coordinate the soap favor to fit with the wedding's color scheme.
So now that you know why it is worth your while to embark on this unique and entertaining craft, we can talk about some of the options in store. (If you would rather skip straight to the process of soap making, read our soap making article). Adding the right ingredients will enhance fragrance, texture, and color, as well as imbue contributive properties such as emollients and exfoliants. When you make homemade soap, you are creating a naturally glycerin-rich soap. Glycerin is a natural moisturizer and is extracted from commercially made soaps and sold separately at a much higher cost. Adding natural ingredients such as oatmeal, vanilla, crushed peach pits, peppermint, sunflower/olive/safflower oils, shea/cocoa butter, and lavender will give you different results, so have fun experimenting.
Some Soap Making Variations:
Chunk soap making- this involves pouring a soap mixture over chunks of soap for a novel effect.
Embedded objects, pressed flowers, written words
Blended colors, patterns or designs
Cookie Cutter Soap-
This is a cute craft to do with kids in a pinch. It is also a great way to dispose of all those little bits of soap you don't know what to do with.
You will need:
Some chunks or pieces of soap or a bar of soap
Cookie cutters of any shape
Wrapping- this can be tulle, fleece, plastic, wax paper, anything that will wrap around the bundle of chunks with a ribbon tied around the top
What to do:
1. If using a bar of soap, slice into 1/8 or ¼" slices and cut out designs using your cookie cutters. (If not, skip to step two)
2. These shapes can now be arranged in a dish to display in the bathroom or placed into the wrapping bags as potpourri presents. Chunks that are too small to cut out shapes from will still make lovely fragrant potpourri.
Vegetable fats are preferred over animal fats because the latter tend to clog pores and aggravate skin more.
Tin, aluminum, Teflon, and copper all react negatively with the lye so don't use these types of containers/pots.
Add a piece of Saran wrap over your mold to avoid a thin layer of white chalk from forming.
Grease molds if you find you are having a hard time releasing the soap from your mold (you can also place the soap into a freezer for two hours or so after setting. This will allow the soap to shrink back from the sides of the mold).
Also, you can make disposable molds that are simply cut and thrown away after each use from soda bottles, milk cartons and other disposables.