Over this past weekend, I posted a new video to my YouTube channel about making soap as a gift. This blog is going to go a little more into detail with the tutorial, showing you how to actually make the soap and also how to package it as a gift. If you are more of a visual learner or even if you read this and would like to see how I actually made it on my video, please check out my YouTube channel.
I’m sure you’ve frequently heard of people’s love languages. One of the top ways I show others my love is to give gifts, so when I learn how to make something that could be given as a thoughtful, little gift, I’m all in. I’d never made soap before, which is kind of strange because I really love all of the pretty little soaps you can buy in specialty stores, and I’m one of those people (much to my husband’s dismay) who likes to smell them all. ALL of them. My daughter-in-law, back when she was my son’s girlfriend, made soap for me a couple of times and I really liked getting it as a gift. Anyway, I thought it was a good time to try out the soap-making thing myself.
There are many different kinds of soaps you can make, but for this first attempt, I used glycerin as my base. Glycerin is derived from plant-based oils, so I guess that would make them vegan soaps, right? All translucent soaps are glycerin, but not all glycerin soaps are translucent. Ah-ha! That made you stop and re-read that sentence, right? Even if it didn’t, it’s an interesting fun fact. Whatever your glycerin soap looks like, you can be sure that it’s great for dry skin because it helps retain, or reduce the loss of, moisture. Here’s one more fun fact about it: even after you stop using glycerin topically, it can continue to help form a barrier to help prevent moisture loss for up to 2 weeks. Glycerin is all-natural and is perfect for people who have sensitive skin. So this gift is pretty, practical and good for your skin.
First, here are the supplies you will need to make these exact bars of soap, along with their links. (*The exact set of Mica Pigment Powder that I purchased doesn’t seem to be available, so I included the link of the product I would use as a substitution, to get the same effect.)
If you purchase all of the above, the supplies will last a very long time, and the only material you will need to replenish for quite a while would be the glycerin. Obviously, you will then be able to use the coloring, essential oils and silicone molds dozens and dozens of times again, each time making the cost of a single bar of soap you make, less and less.
Work with one pound at a time with your soap base, so take a kitchen knife and cut the glycerin in half. With that half, cut it into about 3 pieces and put it into the Pyrex measuring cup. (the glycerin is very soft and cuts easily)
Microwave the glycerin in the microwave, in 30 second increments. It took about 3 minutes, total, for my glycerin to be completely melted.
Stir up the glycerin using any metal spoon. Remember, you are only working with soap, here, so when you are finished with this project, you just have to wash it off. Nothing will need to be thrown away.
Add essential oil of your choice. I used the Harvest Spice and Vanilla in my first batch of soap and then I added just the apple in the second set. You basically shake some drops into the melted glycerin. I shook the oil bottle into the glycerin about 6-8 times, but you could go a bit heavier than that. Mine was very mildly scented.
Add color pigment of your choice. Just shake a tiny bit in there at a time, and keep adding until you get the color you like.
Make sure your mixture is completely combined and then pour evenly into 4 of the molds. They will be almost completely full.
Leave the molds to cool completely. I left them about an hour and then I checked them to see if it seemed like the soap pulled away from the silicone. Then I put the mold upside down on a work mat and kind of peeled the silicone off of the bar of soap.
Let it finish cooling and then wrap each individual bar of soap in either plastic wrap or wax paper. Then wrap up as gifts and let your friends and family enjoy.
The cleanup for this project is so easy because you are working with soap! I just put the Pyrex and silicone molds in my sink and filled them with hot water. Then I took paper towels to wipe out the soapy residue (only because I didn’t want much of it to coat the pipes/garbage disposal), and they can all be used over and over with no damage.
These bars of soap can be used for so many occasions. You can give them as a single gifts or take a couple of them and add them to a little basket with a colorful washcloth and a candle. You can give them as:
- a hostess gift, when you go to someone’s house for a party
- give them to a new neighbor who moves in on your street
- perfect as a teacher’s gift
- gift for a co-worker
- give them as a welcome gift when someone stays at your house
Obviously, there are lots of different people you can give these to and for many different reasons. They mean even more because you made and packaged them up yourself. To package them, you can wrap them first in a piece of plastic wrap or a piece of waxed paper. This will keep the oil from the soap from ruining any wrapping paper that you use. I wrapped them in waxed paper, and then for some of them, I used scrapbook paper and ribbon. You can also use a simple tissue paper and a ribbon or craft paper and twine. Get as creative as you like!
I hope this post helped inspired you to try making something new. The soap was really fun to make, and you can watch me making it on my YouTube channel, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRh8vRiCgZ4
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Celebrate something fun this week!