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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So trying to keep Christmas fun for my great nephews...I thought I'd try to make them homemade soap (melt & pour) and also to test out my 'craft-a-bilty-ness' LOL. I'm sooo not crafty!

It's definitely not as frugal as I'd like it to be and I'm going to end up with more HM soap bars then I anticipated but I figure others may end up receiving it as a gift as well. Kill more birds with one stone!

So far, it has been relatively simple. You buy the block of melt & pour glycerin soap and nuke it til it melts, not boil. Add in essential oils to help scent it and pour into molds and let set til firm.

What they don't tell you is that you should use a wooden skewer, popsicle stick or in my case - half of a pair of take out disposable chopsticks LOL. You need a firm stirring instrument. I figured with a spoon too much of the soap would stick to it and you'd end up with waste vs it in the molds. What they also don't suggest is that you use steel wool to scrub out the hardened soap in your bowl or measuring cup that you used to melt the soap! I also covered my cutting board with a piece of wax paper.

I've guesstimated the cost to be about $5/bar - YIKES!

But that's b/c my 2lb block of soap was $17 and that I spent about $20 in essential oils - 2 scents. I'm afraid of using fragrance oil that may cause an allergic reaction. I will have essential oil leftover for sure! I've also suspended a Hot Wheels car inside 3 of the bars. I figure I'll get 9 bars out of the entire 2 lb block - however I only have 6 molds.

I've attached some pics to share - but these are the pics of before and during...not after. I'll post those later once they've finished setting. (Sorry bout the quality - pics were taken on my cell phone)
 

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So cute - what essential oils did you get? Since this will become an annual thing, I bet, you will recoup your investment!! Looking forward to seeing the finished pictures!!
 
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The essential oils cost a pretty penny, Thosse look awesome. I'm sure they will like those.
 
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Those look so kewl they will love their gifts! You did a great job so crafty! LOL
 
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How cute is that?????? What about for girls? What would you put inside the bars? Like a little Barbie accessory?
 
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They're so cute! And very interesting reading about the lessons you learned while making them - thanks for the tips!
 

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I am so proud of you! I think you did a wonderful job!! Practice makes perfect. Thanks for the tips
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone :) I'm rather proud of myself for going outside my safe zone and trying this new craft. I just finished wrapping them up in plastic wrap to help keep them uh...'fresh'.

I was afraid to use food colouring b/c of what I had read - if you do use it, use only a few drops to tint the soap a faint colour. If you use a lot of food colouring, you run the risk of turning your skin the colour as well as your bath towels. That's not a gift I'd like to give to my niece lol.

You can submerge anything as long as its NOT fresh - no fresh flowers, fruits & herbs etc. Things that won't bleed are good as well. For boys it was easy - hot wheels. Girls can be jewels or alphabet beads and spell out their name and add a bead heart etc. I was thinking of submerging a lil rubber ducky and fish or underwater theme but my molds were not big/deep enough and I couldn't find the plastic items that were the right size.

I used vanilla perfume oil (made from essential oils) for the kids and peppermint pure essential oil for the adults. I guess you could say that I really only spent $10 on essentials/2lb of soap...averaging 9 bars (only 3 with a car in them) ....so the new total is about $4/bar - tx incl and with the molds.

Two final tips: lightly grease the mouds before pouring soap in them. I dabbed a paper towel with veg oil around in the mold then wiped out the excess. Once the soap has been poured, wait a couple of minutes and spritz rubbing alcohol across the tops of the soap to help rid of any bubbles that have formed - I poured some onto a teaspoon and gently dropped it on top of the soap and seemed to have gotten the same result.

Here are a few pics of my finished product. :) Now the only test left is to see if they hold out until Christmas Day.
 

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Libby, your soaps look terrific!! Mahalo for the new tips. I almost don't want to get started because I know how I get with new crafts! Love the 'Natural' and 'Handmade' on the bars!!
 
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The soaps look great! Congratulations. Can I give you some tips though (as someone who makes CP, HP and M&P soap to sell)

1. Spray your molds with rubbing alcohol before you pour the soap in. You can also spray the surface of the soap before you pour from whatever container you melted it in into the molds.

2. I don't understand why you had to use steel wool to get the soap out of whatever you melted it in. It's soap. It should just wash off if you get the container wet enough. What did you melt it in?

3. I understand the concern with fragrance oils v. essential oils, but fragrance oils which are cosmetic grade are actually less likely to cause an allergic reaction than essential oils. They have been designed specifically for use in soaps and therefore have been allergy tested. For example, I used to use lemon and lemongrass essential oils in a CP shampoo bar that I make. I now use a lemon/lemongrass fragrance oil because pregnant women can't be exposed to lemongrass essential oil, due to the possibility of skin irritation. You'll also save yourself a wad of dough by using fragrance oils. Make sure they are cosmetic grade.

4. You can melt the tiniest amount of crayon in the soap and it will color it without coloring the kids or the bath. Just make sure they're the non-toxic, safe for kids kind of crayons.

5. Pop the fully cooled soap in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you're ready to remove it from the molds. It should pop right out if it's really cold.

Be warned - once you start soapmaking it will become an addiction. You won't be able to stop! I'm sure your family will love the gifts you've made for them!
 

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How cute is that?????? What about for girls? What would you put inside the bars? Like a little Barbie accessory?
I was wondering the same thing. I LOVE what you did with the cars. How creative is that? If you make more, please post, ok?

I know you mentioned it being a little costly, but can you imagine what you'd pay in a specialty shop? I'm sure around double.

Well nice job Libby! Your nephews are gonna love you (even more) for them. You know they'll be bragging about their "cool Aunt Libby" :cutie:, dontcha?...lol!!

Theresa :)
 

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They look very nice.

When I made them I put marbles in the boy one and plastic rings in the girl one. They were big hits with my niece and nephew. My SIL like them to because the kids wanted to take a bath to get the toy out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The soaps look great! Congratulations. Can I give you some tips though (as someone who makes CP, HP and M&P soap to sell)

1. Spray your molds with rubbing alcohol before you pour the soap in. You can also spray the surface of the soap before you pour from whatever container you melted it in into the molds.

2. I don't understand why you had to use steel wool to get the soap out of whatever you melted it in. It's soap. It should just wash off if you get the container wet enough. What did you melt it in?

3. I understand the concern with fragrance oils v. essential oils, but fragrance oils which are cosmetic grade are actually less likely to cause an allergic reaction than essential oils. They have been designed specifically for use in soaps and therefore have been allergy tested. For example, I used to use lemon and lemongrass essential oils in a CP shampoo bar that I make. I now use a lemon/lemongrass fragrance oil because pregnant women can't be exposed to lemongrass essential oil, due to the possibility of skin irritation. You'll also save yourself a wad of dough by using fragrance oils. Make sure they are cosmetic grade.

4. You can melt the tiniest amount of crayon in the soap and it will color it without coloring the kids or the bath. Just make sure they're the non-toxic, safe for kids kind of crayons.

5. Pop the fully cooled soap in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you're ready to remove it from the molds. It should pop right out if it's really cold.

Be warned - once you start soapmaking it will become an addiction. You won't be able to stop! I'm sure your family will love the gifts you've made for them!
I totally agree that soap making is totally addictive especially when you start with the too easy melt & pour type! Thanks for the tips about colouring the soap using non toxic crayons and de-molding the soap with alcohol! :) I'll definitely keep these in mind for my next batch. I still have another 2lb block left.

As for the steel wool, I only have one large Pyrex measuring cup and I wanted to start on my next batch/scent once I was done pouring the first...eager I know :) The soap had hardened in the cup very quickly and I didn't want to wait and let it sit with water. It was easier to swish the steel wool on the inside of the cup for quick and easy clean up.

To the others - great ideas on what to stick in future bars - boucy balls, marbles, plastic rings...the possibilities are endless!

Now to think of what to make for my siblings...all older and I only have 5 days until we celebrate our Christmas together as a family. Hmmmm....what if I were to submerge a gift card in it? Think they'd hate me?? LOL
 
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