i spent last saturday afternoon with my friend heather. at our last pARTy, we made handmade soaps, salt scrubs, toothpaste and lip balms, and heather wasn’t able to make it. so I brought the pARTy to her! we made 5 different kinds of soap and she made a ton of lip balm (she’s getting ready for xmas!).
soap making is really easy when you use a glycerin base, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money or buy special supplies. for around $50, you can make enough soap to last you a year and still give plenty away.
all the supplies are from majestic mountain sage. i had ordered everything from them for the last pARTy, and was really happy with the quality of the supplies and the speedy delivery. for our afternoon event, rather than using a big bucket of glycerin soap base (which was difficult to scoop and measure), i ordered the glycerin in 2lb blocks: 3 blocks with cold cream (for an opaque result) and 2 blocks with olive oil. the blocks are much easier to work with!
heather has a microwave (somehow i manage to live without one), so we broke up a block into a 4 cup pyrex cup, and it melted in about 3 minutes on high. using the microwave was a time saver – melting the glycerin on the stove in pot of water at the last pARTy took at least 10 minutes. the glycerin with cold cream was a little weird – it was wax-like and set very quickly. we had to rush to keep a hard film from forming on the top as we added ingredients. but it was nice to have some color variety.
the supplies are very affordable, and with a microwave, it doesn’t take long to make a batch of soap. here are the general instructions (based on what we made):
- break up a 2lb block of glycerin into a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup
- microwave on high, for 2-3 minutes, or until the chunks have melted (keep in mind the glycerin does get hot, and the chunks will melt if the glycerin is stirred – do not boil your glycerin, or your essential oils will evaporate when added!)
- once the glycerin is liquid, add ingredients and colorings
- pour into molds
- let set – if you’re in a hurry, let the top set, then carefully move the mold(s) into the freezer for 10 minutes
a note on the mold – we used 2 rectangle soap molds, which were filled to the top with each recipe. but anything can be a mold! milk cartons, yogurt cups – anything that’s malleable and will not melt when hot glycerin is poured in. just make sure you measure out 4 cups of water and pour them into your molds before you melt the glycerin to make sure you have the right number of molds.
here’s the fun part – the recipes!
peppermint and clay soap : cold cream base
1 tsp peppermint essential oil
4 tsp french green clay
moss green colorant
green tea soap : olive oil base
1 teaspoon green tea fragrance
moss green colorant
lemon verbena soap : cold cream base
2 teaspoons lemon verbena oil
3 teaspoons lemon verbena leaves
lemon yellow colorant
eucalyptus soap : olive oil base
1 tsp eucalyptus essential oil
mint green colorant
double lavender soap : cold cream base
2 tsp lavender essential oil
1-1/2 tsp lavender buds or leaves
lavender fields colorant
- all colorants are available at majestic mountain sage. a $2 sample is plenty for the above recipes. you do want to pre-mix them with glycerin, otherwise you’ll end up with dots of colorant powder in your soap. either purchase some liquid glycerin for mixing or remove a small amount of your melted glycerin and use it to mix in a cup before adding to the rest of the mix.
- experiment with other essential oils! you can purchase them at natural food stores, co-ops, aveda, garden of eden….
i’ll do a separate post for the lip gloss – this one is long enough for the day!