Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Handmade soaps are the perfect little holiday gift. They are so simple to make, and with the countless combinations of scents, colors and additives that give handmade glycerin soaps a unique personal style, you will be hooked on this easy craft.
This time of year, we like to add a drop of peppermint oil to soaps for a holiday scent. Lavender and bergamot, lemon verbena and tangerine are also favorite scents. To create an exfoliating soap, add a little oatmeal to the melted soap.
Soap molds are available in many different shapes and sizes. Traditional bar molds are perfect for creating large bars of soap. Smaller guest-size molds are available in many shapes: hearts, shells, stars, holiday trees and small rounds.
Local craft and fabric stores will generally stock the items needed to get started. Thesage.com is an online supplier that carries many different scents and additives as well as products for making lip balms and body creams.
Once your soaps are made, you can package them for gift giving in a variety of ways. Tissue paper makes a quick and easy wrap, cello bags with a little fiber shred are perfect for bundling a few smaller bars together and personalized labels can be made with rubber stamps or printed directly from your computer.
We guarantee that once you try this fun and simple craft, you will be creating soaps for yourself and to give as gifts. We would also bet that your friends will be thankful for the personalized and thoughtful gift.
1 pound melt-and-pour glycerin soap base
Spray bottle with rubbing alcohol
Plastic cling wrap
Medium glass bowl
Additives such as lavender, peppermint oils and glycerin soap colorant (optional)
Packaging: tissue paper, cello bags, ribbons, labels
Cut a 1-pound brick of glycerin soap base into 2-inch cubes. Place cubes in a glass bowl and cover with plastic cling wrap to keep excess moisture from evaporating. Melt on high for one minute and stir until melted.
If desired, add a few drops of colorant and/or additives to the soap and blend thoroughly. Add several drops of essential oil to the mixture and blend.
Pour the soap into molds. Spray the soap surface with rubbing alcohol to remove excess bubbles. Allow the soap to harden/set for several hours before popping it out of the molds.
Package the soap in a paper sleeve trimmed with decorative scissors, place it in a cellophane bag or wrap it in tissue paper. Embellish paper labels with ribbons, stickers and rubber stamps and attach to the packaging.