Making soap can be a hot, involved and even dangerous craft. Try working with lye and bubbling cauldrons of the white stuff and you’ll be running to the nearest Target for some bars of Ivory. However, handcrafted soap is a different story utterly and completely. You can craft soaps into various shapes with multiple “add-ons” to suit what is in season and your personal taste. Much better than working with lye!
First things first, you need the actual soap base. Lucky for you, they can be shipped straight to your front door in these thick, heavy grids. Choose from Goat’s Milk, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Oatmeal and Glycerin. I went with the classic Shea Butter and delicious looking Goat’s Milk.
- Goat’s Milk Soap Base
- Shea Butter Soap Base
- Molds (purchase or use kitchen molds)
- Fragrance Oils
- Natural Elements and Fragrances
- Wooden Spoon and Microwave-safe Dish
The real twist in this process are the “add-ons.” I felt like a Cold Stone ice cream maker as I chopped up ingredients, mixed in oils and swirled them all into the hot soap mix. First on the list? Lemon Balm is growing in mass amounts in the garden, so I harvested some fresh, along with basil and lavender. To spike the fragrance even further, I added in synthetic oils for a punch.
Fresh Basil with Green Tea and Peony Oil with Shea Butter Base
Fresh Lemon Balm with Lemon Extract, Green Tea and Peony Oil and Shea Butter Base
Grapefruit Extract and Pomegranate Plum Oil with Goat’s Milk Base
Dried Lavender Flowers and Relaxation Oil with Goat’s Milk Base
The next step towards crafting those bars of soap into real bars of useable soap is buying a mold. You can buy soap molds for this very purpose, but I wanted to get a little more creative with my soaps and save a few pennies by using molds around the house. Non-stick pans are a great choice for soap molds and you probably have a few in the cabinet. I chose this mini-custard pan.
The pan can literally be folded and flopped and the soap pops right out perfectly. You might have a cupcake mold or mini-cake mold at home or you can find a similar brownie mold right HERE.
1. Clean, dry and chop all fresh herbs
2. Clean, dry and spray all molds with a little cooking spray
3. Break the soap into chunks and heat 30 seconds at a time in the microwave
4. Place fresh ingredients into molds
5. Pour hot, melted soap into molds (carefully!)
6. Be patient and wait 20-60 minutes until the soaps are fully hardened
7. Pop soap out of molds and enjoy!
Those extracts are simply made by pouring vodka over lemon and grapefruit peels and allowing them to sit for several months.
Check around your house for items that could be used for molds! Could you make rosewater to add to a glycerin soap? Would those silicon cupcake molds work for pretty Aloe Vera Soaps? Perhaps you too, have some lavender ripe for picking! It goes great with Goat’s Milk Base!
Whatever ingredients you choose to mix and match, it is a fun process for adults and kids alike and the result is a hand crafted treat!