The benefits of homemade soap bars are both practical and luxurious. On the practical side, they are inexpensive and offer the satisfaction of knowing you have used natural, healthy ingredients. Luxury-wise, because soap-making is such an inexpensive hobby, you can spoil yourself with calming scents and skin-soothing butters and oils. The melt-and-pour method of soap-making is fast, easy, and perfect for the beginning soap hobbyist. And wrapped in creative packaging, soap makes fantastic gifts. Just remember to keep a few for yourself.
Things You'll Need
2 cups grated or chopped glycerin or white soap base
2 tbsp. Aloe vera, shea butter, or beeswax (optional)
Soap colorant (your choice)
Soap fragrance oil (your choice)
Bar-shaped soap molds
Colored tissue paper
Brown butcher's paper
Ribbon or string
Melting the Ingredients
Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler two-thirds full with water. Bring water to a boil ans immediately reduce to a simmer.
Pour 2 cups grated or chopped soap base into the top pot of your double boiler and melt it, stirring occasionally.
Add 2 tbsp. aloe vera, shea butter, or beeswax (optional). Stir into your soap base thoroughly.
Add the soap colorant of your choice, stirring well to evenly distribute the color. Hint: Add just a few drops or pinches at a time until you achieve your desired color.
Remove melted soap from the heat and allow it to cool for five minutes. Add the soap fragrance of your choice and stir well to evenly distribute it. Again, add just a few drops at a time until your desired fragrance strength is achieved.
Pouring Into Molds
Pour soap mixture into your soap molds. Gently tap the sides of the mold to pop any air bubbles. Lightly spray the soap molds with rubbing alcohol to prevent more air bubbles from forming.
Place the molds in a cool, well-ventilated area to dry for 24 hours or until a finger pressed into the soap doesn't make an indentation.
Release the soap bars from the molds and place them on wax paper. Allow them to set in a cool, well-ventilated area for another 24 hours.
Wrappig the Finished Soap
Wrap your soap bars in plastic wrap to protect them from moisture.
Wrap the plastic-wrapped soap bars with colored tissue paper, fabric, or brown butcher's paper. Tie a ribbon or string around each soap bar.
Glue a pretty decoration to the top of each soap bar. Suggestions: Dried flowers, tiny bunches of dried herbs, or holiday-themed ornaments.
If you have trouble releasing the soap bars from the molds, place them in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, then try releasing them again.
Use only colorants and fragrances specifically designed for soap-making.