DIY: Simple Homemade Soap Gifts

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
I started out by melting the soap base as directed on the package. I melted it in my microwave in a glass bowl; however, you can use a double-boiler. My soap molds measure about 3.5" by 2.5" and about 1.5" deep. 4 cubes of soap base melted to fill 1 of these rectangular soap molds.

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.



  1. Yes! What soap base did you use? I'm looking to order and make for Christmas gifts.

  2. I used Life of the Party's Natural Shea Butter Suspension Soap Base: I really liked it! You might be able to find it cheaper in craft stores or on eBay.

  3. Hi, Ashley. Great tutorial and it looks like you've done it many times before :). I think I'll try it myself at home when the kids go at school and have some free time. Reckon these homemade soapbars can be a great present for close friends. Cheers, Emily.

    1. Thanks Emily! I ended up giving all but one of my soap bars away for Christmas gifts, and it was very well received. Best of luck!

  4. Hi Ashley! I realize this article is several months old, but I am hoping you can answer a couple of questions for me (I am a total beginner).

    1. Where did you get the orange peel? Did you grate it yourself?

    2. What is the difference/preference of using lavender scent v. lavender essential oil? (Because I think the peppermint oil is an essential does a lavender essential oil not work?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Summer! I bought my dried orange peel in the soap making section along with the rest of my supplies - I've seen it at every craft store with a soap making section. I believe the brand I used was Crafty Bubbles. If you can't find it, you can definitely make your own by grating it very finely, and drying it on a baking sheet in open air for 24 hours, or in an oven set to a low temperature until dry.

      For the lavender scent vs. oil, the lavender scent is a fragrance only, and does not contain the same properties of essential oil. I used it to enhance the lavender scent of the soap since the lavender blossoms themselves don't smell as strongly once they're in the soap. You can use lavender essential oil if you prefer :)

      I hope that helps, and good luck making your soaps!


Thank you so much for your comments! I read them all and will respond as quickly as possible!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...