Homemade Holiday Gifts – Soap

 Back at the beginning of November I happened to find two 10 lb. blocks of melt and pour soap at the local thrift store. I had absolutely no experience with making soap, but bought one anyway. (You know how it is with craft supplies, and it was only $4.) When Ant saw the giant brick on the table that evening he was very “What is that!?” about it, and I explained that it was “Duh, a giant block of soap!” and that I had been thinking about using it to make something for my 2 tween-aged cousins for Christmas.  (I may have also mentioned that there was another 10 lb block still at the store.)

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After a few minutes to my surprise Ant says “That’s a good idea! You should go get the other block tomorrow, and then make stuff for the girls, your aunt, my mom, Nana, and maybe even Gramma too!”
(I really hope none of them are reading this right now, or the jig is up!)
Anyway, after the initial shock wore off that Ant thought me making things for everyone (especially his family members) was a good idea, I ran back out and got the soap block the next morning. 
What the heck do you do when you have 20 lbs. of soap, and no idea how to make anything with it?
You goggle. A lot.
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Turns out the melt and pour process is ridiculously simple. You melt… and pour…
I should have known right?
So, I gathered all my supplies together, and got to work.
I found a few soap supplies at AC Moore and Michael’s, but not much. They do both carry soap base though, so I grabbed a 2 lb. block of goat’s milk and one of shea butter. Then you need a mold, a knife, a spoon, and a glass or metal bowl to melt it in. I used a measuring cup just to make life easier. 
Cut your base into chunks and place them in the measuring cup.
Zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it is melted.
Stir in your scents and any “extras” you want to add.
Pour into a mold, spray with rubbing alcohol to kill the bubbles, and let it cool.
Ta Da, Soap!
If you are using a plastic mold you can spritz it lightly with cooking spray to make the bars easier to remove!

I had a rough time finding scents that I liked at my local stores, so I placed an online order at brambleberry.com. They have tons of scents and supplies, and were very helpful when I had questions. I ended up with; 8 scents (plus a sample they sent), 2 molds, 2 bags of citric acid (for my fizzies), and a jar of palm oil (for my sugar scrub cubes), all for about the price I would have spent on 2 presents!
How awesome is that? Score one for the homemade gifts!

All of these scents were nice except for the hot cocoa. Ant and I agreed that it just wasn’t “right”.
When all was said and done, this is what I had… 
That is 7 people with roughly 6 bars of soap each. Plus fizzies, sugar scrubs, and bath salts for the younger set, and 3 “manly” scented soaps for my little brother. That stuff over to the right is the “defect/leftover” pile which is just for me! And can you believe that I still have 3 lb. of soap left? 
All because I found $4 soap blocks at the thrift store!
I’m going to list all my “flavors” below, but a few notes…
-I’m very “seat of my pants” when it comes to crafting, but you can find hundreds of actual recipes on goggle.
-Things like dried herbs, ground spices, honey, powdered milk, sugars, oats, nuts, etc. can all be great add ins.
-Don’t be afraid to raid your spice cabinet and pantry for extra ingredients. 
-Check out the SoapQueen website for bunches of recipes and tutorials.
-Experiment and have fun! 
Almond
goat’s milk, honey, and ground almonds
(This scent came from Michael’s)

Gingersnap
shea butter and cinnamon

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
goat’s milk, honey, and ground oats

Bergamot & Yuzu Fruit
(This scent came from Michael’s)

Christmas Tree

Turkish Mocha
shea butter, goat’s milk, cocoa powder and coffee grounds

Creamsicle
This was the sample scent I received. 
My attempts to embedd little erasers didn’t go so well, 
but I forgot to spray them with alcohol.

Berry Wine

Orange Spice
ground cloves
(This is my favorite scent, and I also used it for the sugar cubes)
Now I need to get my tush busy wrapping up everything on that table.
Hope you all have a great weekend, and good luck getting your holiday projects done!
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4 thoughts on “Homemade Holiday Gifts – Soap

  1. Those look awesome!! I have always wanted to make my own soaps 🙂 My husband just finished our office/my craft room so I will definitely be able to give these a go next year! Thank you for the ideas!

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