I don't like starting out posts with disclaimers, but here it is: I've never made soap before in my life, so this tutorial is from a total beginner's perspective. The benefit is that if you're in my shoes, then maybe this DIY will encourage you to try it, too.
I started with the easiest method possible: melt and pour. I found a base that used shea butter - a bonus for its moisturizing effects.
If you read Snowed In Magazine, then you probably saw my tutorial for making peppermint soap with an exfoliating loofah right in side it (page 49).
Today, I'm sharing with you the other two types of soap I made: peppermint lavender, and Lavender with exfoliating orange peel.
- soap base
- soap molds
- peppermint essential oil
- lavender scent for soap
- dried lavender blossoms
- dried orange peel
- a glass bowl
- rubber spatula
After I melted the soap base so that it was free of lumps, I quickly added my mix-ins.
Peppermint Lavender Soap
Mix in 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil per 8 ounces of melted soap base (8 soap chunks in my case). Pour a thin layer of soap into the soap molds. Sprinkle on the dried lavender blossoms to cover the layer of soap. If you want the lavender to stay on the top of the soap, then allow the layer to harden before pouring in more soap. I didn't mind if my lavender blossoms floated into the rest of the soap, so I filled the rest of the soap mold soon after.
Please remember that essential oils are potent and should be used sparingly.
Lavender Soap with Exfoliating Orange Peel
Melt the soap base in a clean bowl. After the base is completely melted, mix in a few drops of lavender scent (not essential oil). I put in about 1 drop per ounce of soap base, but you can add more or less to your liking.
Next, mix in about 1 tablespoon of dried orange peel per 8 ounces of melted soap base. Of course, you can add more or less to your liking. Pour this mixture directly into the molds.
Let your soap cool
Leave the soap molds on a flat, level surface. It took my soaps about an hour to cool, but I waited 2 hours before I removed them from their molds, just to be safe.
Package your soaps any way you like. Some ideas include plastic wrap; wax paper; parchment paper; brown kraft paper; white wrapping paper; or printed wrapping paper. Also consider decorated labels; ribbons; washi tape; or small bows.
Again, this is a totally basic method that uses materials found in most craft stores. The beauty of this is that you can customize your mix-ins and create a totally personalized recipe for anyone on your gift list.
Also: if you're wondering, clean-up was a total breeze. Any leftovers inside my glass bowl peeled right out after it cooled.