Day 5: Soap
Today, I am going to go with the theme that has been started. I have actually been hankering to make soap for awhile, but have been a little intimidated by the process of making soap from scratch. This is because it involves a powerful chemical called lye, which, if not handled properly, can be quite dangerous. Somehow, this year has not seemed the right time to embark on that project, but there is another very easy way to make your own soap bars.
You can use what is called ‘melt and pour’ soap. Most craft stores sell blocks of this stuff in different varieties and sizes. I chose a big five pound block that included shea butter and mango butter.
From there, it is a simple task to cut it up and melt it in the microwave. We just followed the directions on the package.
For scents, we chose to stick with our usual food grade oils that we already had in the pantry and for colors, we used the food coloring you buy at the grocery store.
The first one was peppermint, which ended up being a two layer thing because it turns out that after you pour the soap, it forms a skin and starts to cool pretty quickly. However, we weren’t quite done swirling yet, so the surface got kind of rough. It was a little bit thin anyway and the layered look is pretty cool.
We used an eight inch pan that we lined with parchment paper. For each batch, we used between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of soap base. Then, after it cooled, we trimmed the rough edges and cut each slab into nine blocks.
In this one, we used almond extract and some ground apricot seeds that I found in the soap section of the store. It’s supposed to be a mild exfoliator. Unfortunately, most of it sank to the bottom, but I think it will still be ok.
I really wasn’t sure if we would use all five pounds, but it turns out that it was so easy and fun that we just kept going and made a third batch, which we scented with lemon and orange oil.
In this one, we tried to swirl two colors, but again, the type of soap we got was pretty thin when melted. Perhaps a different type of base would work better. All told, we spent less than $20 and got 27 bars of soap out of a five pound block. Actually, we really got 30 because we remelted the edge trimmings and made these little bars for us to keep.
The rest are wrapped up for gift giving.
Speaking of gifts, you have another chance to be entered into the fun gifty box giveaway today. I loved hearing about your favorite Christmas decorations. I definitely sensed a sentimental value theme there and it is very true for me as well. I love to remember every event associated with each ornament on the tree as we unwrap them and hang them. Today, let’s talk about the gifts you love to give. What do you enjoy giving?